The first month of legal recreational marijuana sales generated at least $1.24 million in tax revenue for Colorado state, according to an analysis from NBC News.
Only 18 of the Colorado’s 35 licensed stores provided their sales data, some that had only been selling for a few days, suggesting that total taxes raised in January could be much higher.
Marijuana Business Daily estimates, based on NBC’s figures, total sales during the month were in the range of $8-12 million.
NBC predicts taxes over the year could add up to over $100 million, which would surpass the state’s estimate of $67 million.
In comparison, Colorado took in $40 million in taxes from alcohol sales last year and $166 million from cigarettes.
One reason why tax revenue is so high for cannabis is the rate. In Denver, state and municipal taxes add up to about 29% of the sale price.
Interestingly, Washington state forecasts its upcoming marijuana industry to generate $400 million in annual taxes, but that includes sales of medical marijuana.
On the other hand, Attorney General Eric Holder’s promise to adapt federal banking laws for marijuana has yet to be implemented.
As Fox News points out, until banks come on board, marijuana remains an all-cash business, meaning much of the potential tax revenue could easily disappear.