Colorado: Marijuana Tax Revenue Surpasses Alcohol

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 16, 2015

    NORMLState taxes specific to the production and retail sale of marijuana totaled some $70 million in Colorado over the past year — nearly twice the amount collected for alcohol during this same period.

    Financial data released this week by the Colorado Department of Revenue reports that state regulators collected $69,898,059 from marijuana-specific taxes from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. This total includes the collection of $43,938,721 from the imposition of a 10 percent special sales tax on retail sales to adults, and $25,959,338 collected from the imposition of a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana intended for commercial sales. In comparison, the state raised just under $41,837,647 from alcohol-specific taxes during this same period, including $27,309,606 from excise taxes collected on spirited liquors, $8,881,349 from excise taxes on beer, and $5,646,692 from excise taxes collected on vinous liquors.

    Additional revenue attributable to the imposition of state sales taxes (2.9 percent) on retail sales of cannabis and/or booze were not included in the Department’s calculations. The majority of Colorado voters approved the imposition of cannabis-specific taxes (Proposition AA) in November 2013.

    According to market research reported recently by Marijuana Business Daily, the average amount spent on marijuana in states where the drug is legal is $1,800 per year versus only $450 for alcohol.

    In Washington state, where retail cannabis sales began last summer, data released today estimates that marijuana-specific tax revenues have generated $90 million in the past 15 months.

    9 responses to “Colorado: Marijuana Tax Revenue Surpasses Alcohol”

    1. Ben says:


      And there you have it.

    2. Autonomous Person says:

      Law makers have condemned innocent blood and law enforcers have shed innocent blood. Their acts of violence should never be rewarded by allowing them to ever tax or control. They should be made to apologize to their victims and pay restitution.

    3. Galileo Galilei says:


      We’ve got the prohibitionists by their little cajoles now.

    4. Wounded says:

      I think it clearly shows that Americans tastes are changing towards healthier choices.

    5. I can smell it! says:

      Que intro to Pink Floyd’s Money…

    6. Don E. says:

      It’s no wonder since marijuana prices are so high compared to alcohol. I wonder what tobacco tax revenues were.

    7. weedclothing says:

      Marijuana tax revenue is going to keep raising and do way better then alcohol and tobacco.

    8. bongstar420 says:

      This is retarded.

      Alcohol tax is much much lower than pot tax.


      The pot taxes are easily +20% all day all long

    9. Debra says:

      No, it is not retarded. Did you notice the revenue base for each? “the average amount spent on marijuana in states where the drug is legal is $1,800 per year versus only $450 for alcohol”.