Colorado has been a 4/20 destination for more than a decade, and the allure of tax dollars helped spur a legalization movement that now brings tens of millions of consumer dollars into the state every April.
Data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that Colorado made $2.49 million from the state’s 2.9 percent marijuana sales tax in March 2016. (That includes medical and recreational dispensaries and doesn’t count the 10 percent retail marijuana tax and other local taxes specific to cities and counties.) In May 2016, Colorado made $2.76 million from the same tax. But in April 2016, that tax total was significantly higher than in the preceding and following months: $3.29 million. Dispensary sales aren’t just rising in April; they’re rising annually, at an extremely fast rate.
Commercial marijuana data and analytics firm BDS Analytics has been tracking dispensary sales since 2014 and says Colorado nearly doubled its 4/20 spending in 2016 compared to 2015 – and more than tripled 4/20 spending compared to 2014, the first year of recreational cannabis sales.
Colorado dispensaries saw $2.44 million in sales on April 20, 2014, with people buying over 266,000 grams of marijuana flower that day, according to BDS. That was dwarfed by 4/20 in 2015, which saw $4.75 million in flower sales and more than 672,000 grams sold. Still, the first two years combined were overshadowed by 2016, with consumers spending $7.47 million on over 880,000 grams on 4/20 last year.
Dispensary sales spiking in April compared to other months probably won’t surprise many of you – but exactly what are we spending all this money on?
Overall recreational sales ballooned to $4.9 million on 4/20 last year, increasing more than 96 percent year over year. Medical sales saw a much smaller rise, at 13.9 percent over 2015, but still accounted for close to $2.6 million.
Coloradans moved toward stronger, more expensive options in 2016, according to BDS. Here’s a breakdown of sales of the four most popular dispensary products in 2014 through 2016:
Flower: 65 percent
Edibles: 16 percent
Concentrates: 13 percent
Pre-rolls: 3 percent
Flower: 62 percent
Concentrates: 16 percent
Edibles: 13 percent
Pre-rolls: 4 percent
Flower: 53 percent
Concentrates: 24 percent
Edibles: 14 percent
Pre-rolls: 6 percent