Legal Marijuana Sales cross $700 Million in Colorado

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 13, 2015.

The sale of legal marijuana in Colorado has crossed $700 million last year, according to a Washington Post analysis. The news came even as other states are battling to legalize the use of pot for recreational and medical use. The marijuana market in the State, which has allowed both medical and recreational pot, may go up to $1 billion by 2016.

In 2014, Colorado retailers sold $386 million of medical marijuana and $313 million of marijuana for recreational purposes. Total tax revenue collected by the government was $63 million from the sale, while an additional $13 million revenue was collected from licenses and fees. These figures do not include retail sale of marijuana products such as pipes and bongs. If they are taken into account, the sales data may go up further.

Colorado is jubilant over the massive revenue they generate from sale of marijuana now. The state has a clear picture now about its marijuana market. Total marijuana tax revenues are now expected to climb to $94 million per year by 2016. The sales may cross $1 billion by that time. The Colorado revenue figure may catch the attention of other states that are advocating the legalization of marijuana.

Despite the increase in sales of marijuana in Colorado, the growers and retailers of pot are not very happy. They are still not eligible to avail wide variety of tax deductions which are available to other businesses. They feel a big pinch and allege that they are deprived of a fair share in the profits. Ironically, the banks are also hesitant to do business with the marijuana industry fearing federal crackdown, which leaves them with no options but to fend for themselves.

According to Washington Post, the federal government has been taking steps to help the marijuana industry integrate with the rest of the market. The IRS has already made it clear that the accountants who file taxes for marijuana businesses, won't face additional audit or penalties. Even, the Drug Enforcement Agency was prevented from raiding medical marijuana outlets if they are in compliance with state law.

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