DENVER – Colorado sold $2.22 billion worth of marijuana in 2021 – the most ever in a year, as sales have now grown year-over-year every year since recreational sales launched in 2014.
Recreational sales continue to make up the bulk of the marijuana sold, and Denver leads the state’s 64 counties in terms of sales.
The state collected $423 million in tax revenue from 2021 sales. At the end of 2021, the state had collected a little more than $2 billion in tax revenue since February 2014.
In 2014, the state sold $683 million worth of marijuana. Sales topped $1 billion for the first time in 2016, when $1.3 billion was sold. The first time Colorado sold more than $2 billion was in 2020.
But the Marijuana Industry Group, made up of 400 licensed marijuana businesses, said the sales revenue was not all good news because of the tax rates on products. Marijuana is taxed with a 2.9% state sales tax, a 15% retail tax, and a 15% retail excise tax on wholesale sales and transfers. There are also additional local taxes in some areas.
“While it seems exciting to hear ‘record sales,’ these numbers are not reflective of how the industry is doing as a whole, and we must put these numbers into perspective,” said Tiffany Goldman, Board Chair of the Marijuana Industry Group.
“As a small business owner, myself, I know firsthand the challenges facing the industry in the form of federal tax rates and increasing regulations," Goldman added. "...We are hopeful that lawmakers in our state understand these challenges and are willing to work with us to support small business owners so that the industry can continue to generate economic benefits for years to come.”