DENVER -- It's heady times in the Mile High City, and that's just at the state budget office.
Colorado is on track to more than double the state's marijuana tax revenues this year, showing up the $44 million collected in 2014 with a projected 2015 windfall of $125 million, reports The Guardian. The state hoped to collect $70 million in 2014, but fell short.
According to financial data released last week, the state also raked in significantly more money taxing marijuana than it did taxing alcohol for the yearlong period of July 2014 to June 2015, with marijuana netting almost $70 million and alcohol just under $42 million.
As of July, the state had collected $73.5 million in 2015, with $19.6 million of that flagged to fund Colorado's public schools. For comparison, in all of 2014 (not just the first seven months) $13.3 million went to education, notes The Cannabist.
Tyler Henson, the president of the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, attributes the increase in sales to "more and more people [becoming] comfortable with the legalization of marijuana," he told The Guardian. "They don’t see it as something that’s bad for them."
Also, the number of stores licensed to sell recreational marijuana has greatly increased, from only a handful when retail sales began on Jan. 1, 2014, to nearly 400 now.
Last week, Colorado was forced to temporarily suspended marijuana taxes for one day, thanks to the Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights, a contentious provision in the state constitution that limits the amount of revenue the state can collect and spend.