Colorado’s Pot Sales Are High

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Business is booming for Colorado pot dispensaries in their first week  of legal recreational sales. The Huffington Posts reports, “Owners of the 37 new dispensaries around the state reported first week retail sales to The Huffington Post that, when added together, were roughly $5 million.”

Wow… “That’s a lot of green for Colorado’s legal weed.”

As all eyes are on Colorado as the first state to sell recreation weed, what many are seeing is the tax revenue potentional for Colorado and other states that folllow in their path of ending the pot prohibition and reaping in the taxes.

Bloomberg reported last week, prior to the January 1st opening of dispensaries allow to sell for recreational use:

Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue, according to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly. Wholesale transactions taxed at 15 percent will finance school construction, while the retail levy of 10 percent will fund regulation of the industry.

Dispensaries are only allowed to accept cash for their transactions and are currently prhibited from utilizing the federal banking system as other small businesses do. Lawmakers are scrambling to change this:

Monday night, Denver City Council urged banking regulators to grant Colorado marijuana businesses access to the federal banking system, so they can use the same banking services as other businesses.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) is seeking reformed access to banking for marijuana businesses with his Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (H.R. 2652), which would create protections for banks that offer services to state-sanctioned marijuana-related businesses.

The pot industry is evolving swiftly and even the DOJ recognizes that laws will need to be changed to adapt to the booming new industry.

The Economist breaks down how Colorado’s pot industry works here.

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