Sales of recreational marijuana have surpassed sales of medical marijuana for the first time in Colorado, according to an analysis of state tax revenues.
Whether recreational marijuana will become a profit center for the state remains in question, Time reports.
The state's recreational marijuana shops opened in January.
The state tax on medical marijuana is 2.9 percent, compared with 10 percent for recreational marijuana sold in state stores. In July, the state received $838,711 from medical marijuana taxes, and $2.97 million from recreational marijuana taxes. Consumers bought an estimated $28.9 million worth of medical marijuana at dispensaries, and $29.7 million worth of recreational marijuana at state recreational marijuana stores.
The July sales figures boost legalization proponents' argument that recreational marijuana will be profitable for Colorado, the article notes.
In July, an editorial in The Denver Post noted medical marijuana purchases easily outpaced retail marijuana sales. The editorial noted it is relatively easy to get certified to obtain medical marijuana, and that the number of people with certifications grew from 110,979 at the beginning of the year to 116,180 at the end of April. A portion of medical marijuana users "almost certainly belong" in the retail market, the editorial stated. "Medical marijuana privileges should be confined to genuine patients, particularly now that the retail option exists, and not to those merely seeking a break on price because the taxes are lower," the newspaper wrote.
In July, Dr. Larry Wolk, head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told The Denver Post he was concerned there may not be much incentive for people to switch from medical marijuana to retail marijuana.