FILE - Colorado Marijuana Dispensary

American flag flying outside of a recreational marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colo.

(The Center Square) – Colorado’s total marijuana sales surpassed $2 billion in 2020, the highest amount since legalization, the state's Department of Revenue (CDOR) said Tuesday.

State dispensaries brought in $175,145,246 in November, a 17% increase from 2019. In return, the state reaped $32,383,094 in revenue from taxes and fees.

Colorado's sales were $1.7 billion in 2019 and $1.5 billion in 2018. The state brought in $387,480,110 in taxes and fees in 2020.

Since the state began collecting tax revenue on marijuana sales in February 2014, Colorado has brought in almost $1.6 billion in taxes on nearly $9.8 billion in total sales.

Colorado collects a 2.9% sales tax from both medical and recreational marijuana sales, and a 15% excise tax on retail marijuana.

State law requires marijuana tax revenue to be appropriated to local governments and the state’s education, transportation, and marijuana cash tax funds, depending on which tax source it comes from.

Sixty-fix percent of the total revenue comes from the state’s 15% retail excise tax, and 90% of this subtotal is reserved for the general fund while local governments are given the remaining 10%.

In December, the general fund retained $19,043,188 while local governments received $2,115,909, according to CDOR data.  

While total sales are through the roof, month-over-month sales continue to dip. November was the fourth consecutive month of declining sales. Retail marijuana sales have taken the sharpest hit, while medical marijuana sales have remained fairly level, according to CDOR data.

Denver County experienced the most significant drop in sales overall. The county saw a $15 million drop in recreational sales and a $5 million drop in medical sales.