Tyler Williams selects marijuana strains to purchase at the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary on January 1st.

Tyler Williams selects marijuana strains to purchase at the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary on January 1st.

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Sales of recreational marijuana hit a record high in Colorado in January. According to Cannabist, consumers spent more than $36 million in those 31 days, putting the state’s excise tax haul at about $2.35 million. The excise tax is levied on purchases by retailers from marijuana growers and stands at 15%.

According to the law, this extra revenue will be used to help fund Colorado’s public school system.

The chart below shows recreational sales have increased more than tenfold since they began in January 2014:

Colorado Weed Money

Those numbers are expected to keep on climbing as more permits are granted.

“This is really what we expected and hope to see: a shift in the underground market to a regulated market,” said legalization advocate Mason Tvert. “It’s clearly generating significant revenue for the state. Tax revenue is really a bonus. The real benefit of these laws is that it’s taking marijuana sales out of the underground market and ensuring the product is controlled.”

With the growing push to decriminalize marijuana — including support from President Obama — this is the kind of success many states are hoping to see, with school systems all over the country standing to benefit.

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