DENVER - Colorado is expected to release its first report of tax collections on legal sales of recreational marijuana on Monday, according to the state Department of Revenue.
That is the date agency officials have targeted, though spokeswoman Daria Serna cautioned that the first-ever report could be delayed until later in the week if unforeseen circumstances arise.
The report will show tax collections from January, the first month that legal sales of the drug were allowed.
In addition to showing new money flowing into state coffers, the report will give us the total retail sales of pot for the month.
The figure is certain to rise in the months following January as more marijuana stores obtain licenses and begin sales, though January's figures will also include the surge of sales from people who wanted to be part of history, among the first customers to buy the drug legally in the US.
Marijuana in Colorado is actually taxed twice: First at the grower level, where an excise tax is charged at 15 percent of the average wholesale price. Secondly, pot is taxed at the checkout counter in the form of sales taxes.
Voters in Colorado approved a special sales tax on cannabis, which is currently set at 10 percent. That's added to the regular 2.9 percent sales tax charged on all goods sold in Colorado.
Gov. John Hickenlooper's (D-Colorado) office has projected that the drug will raise $35 million in revenue will by this summer and $118 million in the next fiscal year that begins in July.
Based on these projections, Colorado is planning on legal pot to become a half-billion dollar industry next year.
Under the voter-enacted tax structure, the first $40 million of the wholesale tax is dedicated to school construction.
Lawmakers are currently debating what to do with the rest of the revenue, with a variety of proposals aimed at paying to address societal problems that could be caused by potential proliferation of marijuana use and abuse.
Some local governments that allow recreational marijuana sales have also imposed their own local taxes on the drug. Pueblo County was the first of these to report its tax revenue, saying that its two legal pot shops produced $56,000 in local sales taxes on $1 million in sales.