Medical marijuana revenues in Colorado in 2013: $328 million-plus

a 205 Breathes Red Card.jpg
After peaking for 2013 at 112,862 patients in August, the state medical marijuana registry went into a two-month decline, losing more than 2,000 patients by November, when the total was 110,785 registered medical marijuana users.

But even if the overall numbers are lower, the amount of money spent by MMJ patients is considerable. According to State of Colorado figures, the total topped $328 million -- well over $100 million more than the figure reported for the previous year.

Data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reveals that the decline in active-patient red cards came despite an increase of nearly 7,500 new-patient registrations during the same time frame. The disparity between the two figures is mostly attributed to patients dropping off the registry or failing to renew their cards.

Some have speculated that recreational sales could impact registry numbers, as patients look to avoid a doctor's visit, a fee to the state and inclusion in the increasingly less private patient registry. But because CDPHE figures only go through this past November, it is too early to tell if recreational sales have had any impact on patient numbers.

However, medical patients who've been thinking about dropping their registration might think again when they see the high tax rate (and high prices) on recreational cannabis -- especially since the patient registry fee drops to $15 in February.

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The bud bar at L'Eagle Services, recently reviewed by William Breathes.
While it's too early to know how retail marijuana will affect medical sales, we now know the total amount of MMJ sales for 2013. Despite the decrease in medical patients in October and November, sales increased from $77 million in the third quarter of 2013 alone to more than $94.3 million in sales in the fourth quarter of the year.

Department of Revenue figures show that a grand total of $328,646,922 worth of legal medical marijuana was sold in the state last year. Contrast that with MMJ sales of $199 million reported for 2012.

At a tax rate of 2.9 percent, the 2013 sales translate to about $9 million collected by the State of Colorado during that year -- an increase of about $3.13 million over 2012. If that same total had been taxed at the 12.9 percent combined state sales taxes tacked onto recreational sales, however, it would have generated much more for the state: $42,395,452, to be specific.

Medical (and recreational) sales figures for the first quarter of 2014 are expected in March.

In the meantime, it's clear that one segment of the medical population is growing considerably: Colorado now has 140 minors under the age of eighteen on the medical marijuana registry -- all with approval from their parents and a physician. That number has grown sharply since an August CNN special focusing on the medical benefits of high-CBD plants for children with seizure disorders.

At the time the special aired, there were only 53 children on the registry. Since then, dozens of families from such states as Florida, New Jersey and New York have moved to Colorado in search of CBD treatments.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana bought with food stamps? New bill aims to prevent claims in joke news story" and "Ten best marijuana concentrates of 2013."

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42 comments
Nelson Pineda
Nelson Pineda

itll be about 2 yrs before the whole country gets in the act .

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

His loss of business as a brewery owner...

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Southern conservatives' still heavy dependence on Big Tobacco and country club Republicans'/gentrifying Democrats' endless support for Big Pharma

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Hardly. Most just realize that fighting it is a losing battle.

mnieto420
mnieto420

Good to see all that money coming in to the state.  Hopefully it will be put to good use and the feds will have to take notice and make it 100% legal!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Marijuana Amnesty Boxes Installed at CO Springs Airport


COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Airport on Wednesday installed amnesty boxes for people who didn't realize that it's illegal to possess marijuana on a plane or even at the airport.


It is legal to leave marijuana in parked cars at airports under the Colorado law that legalized recreational marijuana, but people can't bring marijuana inside the airports.


Officials are encouraging people to leave their marijuana behind, but they also want to help people who broke the law and don't want to miss their flights.


Denver International Airport will not offer such boxes, said airport spokesman Heath Montgomery.



Shannon Jones
Shannon Jones

This is something where we all win, medical marijuana patients (myself), the Dispensaries, and the STATE! Why doesn't the federal government want a piece of the pie?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Wow! ... 110,000+ Colorado pot users who could have saved $328 million if they just grew their own ... or saved most of that if they had a private caregiver grow it for them.


$328 MILLION DOLLARS that poor suffering "patients" could have RETAINED for themselves if they simply grew their own meds, or had a compassionate private caregiver grow it for them.


$328 MILLION DOLLARS they could have spent on Food, Shelter, Clothing, Education for their Children, Vacations, Physical Therapy, etc.


What a GIGANTIC WASTE of $$$.





Jon Pitts
Jon Pitts

what were we just talking about?

Jon Pitts
Jon Pitts

"The Colorado"? Department of Revenue maybe?

Mark Moffett
Mark Moffett

Could Hickenlooper please list the "real" negatives?

tzadik42
tzadik42

"Medical (and recreational) sales figures for the first half of 2014 are expected in March."

How does that work?

Monkey
Monkey

Wow, $328 million in "legal" sales. That's more than I expected. Makes me wonder how much was really spent on Colorado weed. If dispensaries claimed that much, I imagine total sales, both above and under ground markets, is probably over $1 billion. At this rate, Phillip Morris and Monsanto will be lobbying to grow weed sooner than I expected. 

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed topcommenter

The state sales tax rate for recreational pot is 10% per Prop. AA.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... don't bet your bong on it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Shannon Jones ... damn you're stupid.



Jerome
Jerome

So you admit the $5 million in sales in a week seems reasonable now.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay

@DonkeyHotay right because the private caregivers wouldn't have charged them a dime, allowing them to spend it all on food, shelter, clothing....all $328 would have been save eh chippy?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  "I imagine total sales, both above and under ground markets, is probably over $1 billion"


You might be a bit conservative on that one, given the home-grow patients, the private caregiver grows, the "black market" supplies from California and Oregon, and the millions of undeclared $$$ that dispensaries funneled out their back doors.


Take a look at the massive untaxed private market on Craigslist alone -- 

http://denver.craigslist.org/search/sss?zoomToPosting=&catAbb=sss&query=mmj+donations&minAsk=&maxAsk=&sort=rel&excats=


No way those Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels can compete against that !!


Thanks A64 !! ... for keeping the "black market" alive and massively profitable!!

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed topcommenter

Almost $3000 per "patient" per year.

How much of that was being diverted to the non-mmj recreational market?

Or being shipped out of state?

Jerome
Jerome

FreeTheWeed 29 minutes ago

"The state sales tax rate for recreational pot is 10% per Prop. AA."

Stupid Donkey puppet - that tax comes in addition to the existing 2.9 percent state sales tax.

You're just another clueless idiot who didn't read --much less comprehend --what he was voting on.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jerome  ... you really are one brain-dead bong-sucking simpleton, aren't you boy?



Less than $1 million per day FOR ALL the HUNDREDS of MMJ Dispensaries statewide.


And a pig-ignorant fuckwit like you would believe that around 30 recreational shops did as much or more volume than the HUNDREDS of mmj dispensaries do statewide?



Does it hurt to be so fucking stupid?


Well, does it you daft dipshit?


Monkey
Monkey

@FreeTheWeed   I would love to see an audit, like how much commercial weed was produced vs sales. Many patients never went into a store during 2013, raising that $3000 spent per patient a lot higher. I'm sure a lot of weed was diverted from the regulated market, but I also bet a lot of weed was acquired through the un-regulated market too, to fill store shelves when they ruin a batch. I'm sure the whole industry is a shade of gray, but as long as they keep bleaching their white collars with license fees, we wont know how dirty they get.

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed topcommenter

Good thing that A64 promoted and offered marijuana as a fat tax pig ready to be slaughtered and bled to death.

They just created an instant $33 million "black market" between recreational and medical pot.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jerome <== still an ignorant dipshit


The ENTIRE STATE of Colorado doesn't smoke pot, jackass, only a tiny minority.


Every Colorado stoner who was getting high prior to Jan 1 ALREADY HAS a connection / source for their weed, jackass, so no need to stand in line with a handful of idiot tourists just to pay 2x  - 3x normal prices PLUS massive taxes.


You really ARE a fucking retard, aren't you moron?



Jerome
Jerome

Entire state of Colorado + tourists = way more than 110,000 patients (even you admit the number who actually shop at dispensaries is far less). And with rec prices so high, $5 million isn't unreasonable.

Does it hurt to be so pigheaded that you can't admit when you might be wrong?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey @Monkey


No, Accepting Art Donations for Marijuana Is Not Legal

Police Bust Art Gallery That Offered Free Marijuana For Donations

DENVER 
 – Denver police have busted organizers of a marijuana club operating out of an art gallery. The organizers offered free pot in exchange for donations to the gallery.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger first reported on the deal when he went undercover to the gallery two months ago.

Adam Zimmerli and Devon Hawk Hazard now face felony charges for distribution of marijuana.

Back in February Sallinger paid a visit to the 530 gallery on Santa Fe in Denver’s Art District. 

It had been running an ad on Craigslist which offered “high grade marijuana, free with a donation to the gallery.” Sallinger was offer pot if he joined the Cannabis Club of Denver.

“As a member of the Cannabis Club Of Denver, you follow Amendment 64,” the man at the gallery told Sallinger.

The gallery is just one of many places in Colorado Sallinger found offering free pot in exchange for donations. 


What wasn’t known at the time was that Denver police were conducting an undercover investigation of the gallery and its club. 

Sounds like these fools were also clients of that QUACK lawyer Rob Corry.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  ... thank Jah that A64 "legalized" weed, eh?


Colorado Springs marijuana-delivery man kills self, wife

According to a report from the Denver PostPritchard Garrett, the 31-year-old owner of marijuana-delivery service Billygoatgreen MMJ, was found dead next to his 26-year-old wife Alicia on Aug. 10, according to the Las Animas County Sheriff's office. The man was facing multiple felony counts related to the business.

"An autopsy later determined Pritchard Garrett died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," writes reporter John Ingold. "His wife was killed by four shotgun wounds to her body, according to the report."

I've spoken with Garrett about his contentious company more than a handful of times, and e-mailed with his wife. 
The Indy was the first to report the existence of Billygoatgreen — a dubious and sad honor almost from the beginning, considering the Colorado Springs Police Department's Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division stung the company weeks after.

"It's not that Billygoatgreen is just some gun-toting, drug-dealing organization," he told me in May. "That's far from the truth. ... I'm doing it because it's the only thing that I've ever loved, and it's the only thing that I'm good at."

When he got in trouble, though, he had to consider his past experience with incarceration. As put by the Post:

Garrett said he feared a conviction in the marijuana case could send him to prison for the rest of his life. He said he had been assaulted by other inmates during his previous prison sentence, and he didn't want to go back.

"I'm scared," he said. "I'm not going to lie."

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey "We can all expect a new bill that  "bans" people from accepting donations for weed"


Do try and pay attention, it may keep you out of jail --


http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22664898/man-colorado-springs-marijuana-donations-bust-says-he


A Colorado Springs man facing felony marijuana-distribution charges for running a pot-for-donations service says police signaled the service was legal at the same time they were conducting undercover stings on it.

Pritchard Garrett, who is accused of being the leader of Billygoatgreen MMJ, says the service took off after Colorado Springs Police Lt. Mark Comte gave an interview to the Colorado Springs Independent in which he said delivering pot in exchange for donations was not necessarily illegal under Colorado's new laws for marijuana.

Comte's comments appeared in the Independent on Jan. 30. The previous day, two undercover Colorado Springs detectives organized a marijuana purchase from Billygoatgreen as part of an investigation into the service, according to arrest affidavits in the case.

"You just green-lighted this delivery business," Garrett said of Comte's comments. "You just said, 'Hey, the cops said this wasn't illegal, so call them up.' "

Comte, though, defended his comments and accused Garrett of distributing more marijuana than Comte had suggested it might be legal to do.

"His intent was clearly to skirt Amendment 64," Comte said, referencing the law that made limited marijuana possession legal in Colorado.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Colorado's attorney general says her boss has concluded that marijuana-for-donation exchanges aren't legal under any circumstances.

"Distributing marijuana in exchange for suggested donations is a scam to get around the laws against the sale of marijuana," spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said, summing up Attorney General John Suthers' position.


According to arrest affidavits, a Billygoatgreen delivery man gave detectives about 1.6 ounces during one undercover buy and about 2.1 ounces during a second buy. The affidavits say specific prices were also agreed upon for the marijuana.


Garrett and two others connected with Billygoatgreen — Shilo Campbell and Matthew Alther — were arrested Feb. 5.

They face felony marijuana-distribution charges. Because of a previous criminal history in Maryland that included prison time, Garrett said he could be looking at life behind bars.


"I'm scared," he said. "I'm not going to lie."


###


Some of the 14,000 arrests that Lyin' Brian Vicente and Bullshit Betty Aldworth promised would be prevented by A64.





Monkey
Monkey

@DonkeyHotay

That is crazy! There is a lot of people on craigslist. We can all expect a new bill that  "bans" people from accepting donations for weed. I would think charging for the delivery would be better than "suggested donations". Give them up to an ounce, two if medical, then write them a receipt for "transporting" the weed. But what do I know, I'm surprised so many people can't sell their weed and need to advertise on craigslist.  

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