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Colorado Hits New Record with $423 Million in Annual Revenue From 2021

Colorado has reported a record-breaking amount in revenue for 2021. Update sales data is also included to show the increase in total tax and fee revenue, which was collected from legal sales that began back in 2014.

Colorado Department of Revenue (DoR), announced January 11th that the state had broken a record in cannabis sales. “New record alert! Colorado has collected more than $423 million from cannabis sales in 2021 (compared to its previous record of $287 million in 2020). Colorado also surpassed $2B in tax and fee revenue and $12B in marijuana sales to date,” the agency wrote on its social media pages.

The December 2021 press release revealed the December tax and fee revenues reached $30,609,000,000 in December (2021). This total included $423,486,053 of January to December 2021 and $21,018,933,005 between February 2014 and February 2015.

Similar sales of cannabis were revealed in the November data. A total of $158,462,549 has been collected from November. There was a $2,060.952,959 total between January and December 2021. The staggering total of $12.039.747.032 since legalization began in January 2014.

These are the figures based on state sales tax (2.9%), cannabis retail sales tax (15%) and retail cannabis exise tax (15%) The DoR notes that for cannabis sales data, the official sales figures won’t be released until sometime in February 2022.

The sales figures for November, December, and October were lower than usual, according to data. Both cannabis sales as well as prices fell below their normal rates. According to a report by The Cannabis Report, the average price for a pound of cannabis in the past three months 2021 was $1316 to $948. WestwordThe average market rate (AMR) is referred to as The AMR reported $1721 as the price per pound at the end 2020.

The states of Washington and California, however, have collected $3 billion and $3.1 billion in tax revenue, compared to Colorado’s newly achieved $2 billion. Of course, Washington’s sales tax is up to 46 percent in certain regions, and California’s sales tax reaches up to 38 percent. Colorado’s tax percent is the third highest in the country.

According to Marijuana Policy Project Policy Director Karen O’Keefe, Colorado’s cannabis industry is more consistent, which leads to steady flow of funds for the state. “When you have that kind of funding, economists say you have what’s called a multiplier effect, where you not only have the initial investment in the stores, the jobs and the tax revenue, but then that money is in people’s pockets who spend it again,” O’Keefe told Westword. “So it’s as if each dollar is two or three dollars, which is the way economists usually look at it.” She also notes that this long-term investing has led to the creation of 40,000 jobs and over 1,000 Colorado businesses.

“Some of the more recently taxed states are focusing on specifically investing a good chunk of the revenue in communities that have borne the brunt of marijuana prohibition and that have had disproportionate marijuana arrests,” O’Keefe continued. “You’ll just continue to see more tax revenue, more people working in the cannabis industry, operating cannabis businesses.”

Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving in many other ways overall as well. Jared Polis, the Governor of Colorado signed an executive order pardoning 1,351 cases related to marijuana possession charges of 2 ounces or more. Two potential ballot measures for psychedelic legalization are being considered by New Approach PAC. The first bill would legalize multiple psychedelic substances, including ibogaine and DMT as well as mescaline and psilocybin. While the second bill is focused on only psilocybin or psilocin.