Colorado Marijuana Industry Continues to Grow, Revenue Surpasses $1 Billion to Date

Since 2014, marijuana tax, license and fee revenue has contributed most to public health and safety efforts, Human Services programs, and public health initiatives.

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DENVER, Wednesday, June 12, 2019 -- PRESS RELEASE -- Colorado has surpassed $1 billion in marijuana revenue to date since adult-use marijuana sales began in 2014, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR)’s monthly reports for marijuana sales and revenue data released today.

“Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety, and investing in public school construction.”

To date, marijuana tax, license and fee revenue has reached just over $1.02 billion and marijuana sales to date exceeded $6.56 billion. Currently, Colorado has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 individuals who are licensed to work in the industry.

“We are committed to facilitating responsible innovation within this dynamic industry through continued engagement with our diverse group of stakeholders,” said Jim Burack, director of CDOR’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. “Colorado will continue to be known for its regulatory leadership."

Marijuana revenue supports statewide efforts such as licensing and regulation of legal marijuana businesses, youth prevention efforts, behavioral health treatment, protecting public health and safety, and coordination across state agencies.

“Five years ago, taxes from retail marijuana sales funded the first-ever retail marijuana public education campaign and scientific committee to review the health effects of marijuana as mandated by Colorado voters. Today, as retail marijuana sales remain steady, our public awareness efforts include community-based youth prevention with more than 50 communities receiving funding to expand local efforts,” said Tista Ghosh, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s chief medical officer. “Today, more adults know the laws around retail marijuana, more parents are planning to talk to their children about the risks of marijuana use, and most young women know the danger of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”

Marijuana tax revenue funds Colorado Department of Education programs such as the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) capital construction assistance fund, as well as the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program, School Health Professional Grant Program and the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program.

The Colorado Department of Human Services uses marijuana revenue funds to support community behavioral health programs including mental health services for juveniles and adults, crisis services, criminal justice diversion, the Circle Program, substance use disorder and detoxification services. Additionally, funds support Mental Health Institutes at Pueblo and Fort Logan and Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program, which is a collection of community based programs that target youth and their families for prevention and intervention services in the effort to reduce incidents of youth crime and violence, to prevent youth marijuana use, and prevent child abuse and neglect.