Colorado marijuana sales since January 2014 reach $5 billion |

Colorado marijuana sales since January 2014 reach $5 billion

Customers shop for marijuana at the Altitude Organic Cannabis Dispensary March 31, 2018 in Dillon. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, over $5.1 billion worth of recreational and medical marijuana has been sold in Colorado since January 2014. In Summit County, sales have reached more than $80 million during that time.
Hugh Carey /

Colorado marijuana sales since legalization in 2014 have reached a whopping $5 billion.

According to figures from the Colorado Department of Revenue, dispensaries registered $122.8 million worth of medical and recreational marijuana transactions in May, the most recent month for which the statistics were available.

On par with recent months, May’s total pushed the overall sales of recreational and medical marijuana to more than $5.1 billion statewide since January 2014.

The state-reported statistics show increasing marijuana sales since legalization took hold more than three years ago, but the rate at which the figures are climbing appears to be slowing in 2018.

For its part, Summit County shops have logged more than $80 million worth of recreational marijuana sales since January 2014 with stores in Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco and Breckenridge.

Gauging total marijuana sales for Summit, which include medical and recreational marijuana, is somewhat difficult because the state won’t release sales information that could be tied to a single business.

With only one medical marijuana store operating in Summit for a number of months over the last three-plus years, the state has withheld medical marijuana sales for the county during those months.

Since 2014, Colorado cannabis sales have been steadily reaching new heights. Reaching $1 billion in sales happened 17 months after legalization. Getting to $2 billion came much quicker, just under one calendar year after hitting $1 billion, in April 2016. 

Sales surpassed $3 billion in January 2017. Only nine months after that, they had reached $4 billion. The rate at which marijuana sales are growing appears to be slowing, though. 

Through the first five months of 2018, Colorado marijuana sales were at $612 million, slightly ahead of the $592 million from the first five months of 2017 and a difference of $20 million. Compare that growth rate seen through the first five months of 2017, when sales were ahead of the same time frame in 2016 by $106 million.

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A similar trend has been seen in Breckenridge and Frisco too, with marijuana sales flattening out through the first five months of this year.

At $4.7 million from January through May, Breckenridge’s dispensaries are barely ahead of where they were at this time last year. Meanwhile, Frisco’s pot sales have also been stagnant in 2018 compared to the same time frame last year. 

Bucking the trend, Dillon’s excise tax on marijuana is up actually up 7.6 percent through May compared to same time last year.

Despite the lack of growth in local marijuana sales so far in 2018, Summit’s best month for recreational pot sales came in March, the only time the county has ever broken the $3 million mark in a single month.

The 4/20 stoners’ holiday, often described as the Super Bowl for dispensaries across Denver and the Front Range, didn’t produce quite the same results for Summit County that it did at lower elevations. 

In Summit, April saw just over $1.5 million in recreational pot sales, or about half the total from Summit’s best month.

For its population, Summit County stands in a category largely by itself. The high numbers of tourists here have certainly helped propel the bottom line to levels far above that in Aspen, Vail and other comparable Colorado mountain towns.

More so than other places in the state, Summit’s sales are highly seasonal and align closely with peak travel times. The state-produced and town-reported sales statistics clearly bear out this fact, too.


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