Denver, CO: Retail sales of marijuana totaled just under $700 million in Colorado in 2014 – the first full year during which sales of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes were allowed.

Total sales for the year were $699,198,805, according to data tabulated by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Sales of medicinal cannabis totaled some $386 million for the year, while marijuana sales at recreational outlets totaled $313 million.

Although retail sales of cannabis to anyone age 21 and older began officially on January 1, 2014, few commercial outlets were operational at that time.

Tax revenue from sales of recreational marijuana totaled some $44 million for 2014. That total includes revenues from the imposition of a special 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transfers. Voters approved the special taxes on retail marijuana sales in 2013.

Colorado received an additional $32 million in revenue from the imposition of licensing fees as well as from state sales taxes paid on purchases of medical marijuana.

Commenting on the tax totals, Democrat state Senator Pat Steadman of Denver said that he is “very encouraged by what we’re seeing so far. Everyone keeps calling this ‘Colorado’s experiment with marijuana legalization,’ but so far everything seems to be working better than planned. … Right now we’re still rolling things out, but it just seems to be rolling out smoother than anyone expected.”