Recreational marijuana sales have taken off in Colorado, up 57 percent since stores first opened in January.
April was the biggest month yet for pot stores, hauling in $22 million in sales, according to a tax report released Monday by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Taxes and fees paid in April totaled $3.7 million, and $11.3 million for the year.
Denver's massive 420 marijuana smoke-out, held annually on April 20th, likely contributed to the increase in sales. Pot purchases, however, have gone up every month since stores opened on Jan. 1. Total recreational marijuana sales this year is nearly $70 million.
Sales of medical marijuana still topped recreational sales, registering nearly $32 million in April. But purchases fell 8 percent from March. The state collected $1.5 million in taxes and fees for medical marijuana in April.
Medical marijuana isn't going away anytime soon: medical stores outnumber recreational nearly 5 to 1 and medical marijuana is taxed at a much lower rate. The increased availability and substantially lower price may explain why Colorado's medical marijuana registry grew slightly since Jan to 115,208 patients.
Taken together, medical and recreational marijuana sales in Colorado total nearly $203 million through April.