Newsroom El Comercio de Colorado
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado has seen an unprecedented increase in the monthly purchase and consumption of recreational and medical marijuana according to data from the state Department of Revenue. The study indicates that this May, legal marijuana use in Colorado was 29 percent higher than in April, and 32 percent higher compared to May of 2019.
In concrete terms, medical marijuana sales totaled to $43 million this May, while recreational marijuana reached $150 million, a total of $193 million. In the first five months of 2020, total marijuana sales were $780 million, with a tax gain for Colorado of $167 million.
According to the Marijuana Enforcement Division within the Colorado Department of Revenue, these numbers are the highest since the dispensaries opened six and a half years ago. The previous record was $173 million in August 2019. In the wake of the quarantine in March, the Department of Revenue predicted a decrease in marijuana purchases due to a reduction of tourists.
The agency also predicted a decrease in tax revenue for the state, and the prediction was sent to Colorado’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. The decision to include marijuana dispensaries on the essential business list was a key factor in the increase of sales.
Additionally, on April 13th, Colorado authorized the online sale of marijuana, a measure that will remain in effect during the pandemic. The demand is so high that a single store, the Green Solution, hired 50 new employees since this March. Projections from the Depart of Revenue indicate that sales will continue to grow, and that August could set a new record for the marijuana industry in Colorado.
Forecasts indicate that the 2020 sales will greatly exceed the 2019 sales, which reached $1.75 billion.
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