Colorado Retail Marijuana Sales Finally Beat Medical

Retail sales have lagged medical sales since pot shops opened on Jan. 1, fueling concern that projected tax revenues would fall short

Sales of legal retail marijuana have topped sales of medical marijuana in Colorado for the first time since the state’s recreational pot shops opened their doors on Jan. 1, according to tax figures released by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

During the month of July, the state received $838,711 from a 2.9% tax on medical marijuana, meaning that patients spent an estimated $28.9 million at dispensaries. The state meanwhile raked in $2.97 million from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million, according to calculations by the Cannabist.

Though that amounts to a less than $1 million gap between retail and medical sales, this is a small victory for champions of legalization who have argued that the experiment will be profitable for the state, as revenues have lagged behind some expectations.

“Most adults use marijuana for the same reasons they use alcohol. Now that it’s a legal product, they are choosing to access it in a similar fashion,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said. “For most Coloradans, buying marijuana in a retail store will just become the norm. It appears that shift in behavior is already taking place.”

– Read the entire article at TIME.