The US state of Colorado has revealed that they have recouped $2m in the first month since the state legislature legalised the sale of cannabis, reports The Telegraph.
The state has revealed that although the revenues were less than they had anticipated, sales were still in line with what they had expected when they legalised the drug in January this year.
Colorado is the first US state to legalise cannabis for private use, following in the footsteps of the city of Amsterdam in Holland, where cannabis use has been tolerated publically since the 1970s.
Colorado raised $2m in the first month of cannabis trading, which The Telegraph reports is just $0.7m less than that recouped from alcohol sales. The $2m in tax was collected on sales of $14m.
The state had forecast that tax revenues from the legalisation of cannabis would earn the state more than $10m per month in the first year, so the figures fall well short of estimates; however, the state predicts that sales and tax revenues will continue to rise in the coming months.
The prediction of greater sales is supported by the number of cannabis businesses registered in the state. In January this number was just 24, The Telegraph reports, but today that number stands at well over 150 and counting.
Barbara Brohl is the head of Colorado’s state taxation department.
“The first month of sales for recreational marijuana fell in line with expectations. We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to incorporate this data into future forecasts,” she said.
The UK has currently no plans to consider legalising cannabis, although the Colorado experiment may well force governments around the world to reconsider their drugs policy.
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