Steamboat Springs 2015 marijuana sales top $5 million
September 25, 2015
Steamboat Springs — The marijuana industry continues to prosper in Steamboat Springs with sales surpassing $5 million during the first seven months of 2015.
From January through July, the city reported dispensaries sold $5,250,381.25 worth of medical and retail marijuana. That’s a 29 percent increase over the same period in 2014, when $4,059,046.75 was collected. In total, 2014 saw $6.8 million in sales.
"At the end of the day, it's nice to see data," city councilman Scott Ford said. "Now, we see the scale and the scope."
Rocky Mountain Remedies co-owner Kevin Fisher attributed the increase in sales to diminishing fear of repercussions.
"I think there is great public acceptance across the county to adult access to recreational marijuana," Fisher said.
The city collects four percent in sales tax on marijuana sales, amounting to $210,015.25 so far in 2015. With a half percent sales tax, the Steamboat Springs School District collected $26,251. Steamboat's airline program collected $13,125 with a .25-percent tax.
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The city still will not report retail and medical marijuana revenue data separately, because doing so would violate its policy of withholding sales tax data if there are fewer than three retailers in an industry reporting sales or if one of retailer accounts for more than 80 percent of the revenue.
The marijuana tax revenues collected so far by the city makes up 1.63 percent of the city's total tax revenues for 2015: $12,848,506. Alcohol sales have generated 3.57 percent, or $458,817. During the first seven months of 2014, alcohol sales generated $428,655, or 3.55 percent.
In comparison, sporting goods in recent years have generated 7 percent of the city’s sales tax revenue, while restaurants and lodging each have brought in around 16 percent.
With the passage of Amendment 64, Colorado dispensaries began selling marijuana for recreational use in January 2014.
For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the state of Colorado collected nearly $70 million in marijuana-specific taxes, which includes a special 10 percent sales tax on marijuana sales. The state collected nearly $42 million from alcohol-specific taxes.
"It's crazy how much revenue our state used to flush down the drain by forcing marijuana sales into the underground market," Marijuana Policy Project director of communications Mason Tvert said recently in a news release. "It's even crazier that so many states are still doing it. Tax revenue is just one of many good reasons to replace marijuana prohibition with a system of regulation."
Ford continues to oppose an additional tax in Steamboat on marijuana.
"Amendment 64 is really clear," Ford said. "You treat it like alcohol. Should we add an additional sales tax on alcohol? I don't want to go that way."