Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week

Jan 8, 2014

Col­orado mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries made huge sales in the first week of legal recre­ational mar­i­juana. Own­ers of the 37 new dis­pen­saries around the state reported first week retail sales to The Huff­in­gto n Post that, when added together, were roughly $5 mil­lion. That’s a lot of green for Colorado’s legal weed. Col­orado, the first state to allow retail recre­ational mar­i­juana sales to adults age 21 and older, has pro­jected nearly $600 mil­lion in com­bined whole­sale and retail mar­i­juana sales annu­ally. The state, which expects to col­lect nearly $70 mil­lion in tax rev­enue from pot sales this year, won’t have its first offi­cial glimpse at sales fig­ures until Feb. 20, when busi­nesses are required to file Jan­u­ary tax reports, accord­ing to Julie Postleth­wait of the state Mar­i­juana Enforce­ment Divi­sion. Denver’s 9News was first to report statewide retail sales on New Year’s Day, the first day legal pot shops were allowed to oper­ate, exceeded $1 mil­lion. Inter­est dropped in the days that fol­lowed, accord­ing to shop own­ers, but many reported cus­tomers still wait­ing in lines out the door. “Every day that we’ve been in busi­ness since Jan. 1 has been bet­ter than my best day of busi­ness ever,” Andy Williams, owner of Denver’s Med­i­cine Man dis­pen­sary, told The Huff­in­g­ton Post. Own­ers of larger shops told Huff­Post they sold from 50 pounds to 60 pounds of mar­i­juana in the first week. Smaller shops sold 20 pounds to 30 pounds, pro­pri­etors said. Under state law, Col­orado res­i­dents may legally buy up to one ounce of mar­i­juana in a trans­ac­tion. Tourists can pur­chase up to one-fourth ounce. But the ini­tial rush to buy legal weed was so great that many shops imposed caps on the amount each cus­tomer could buy, or raised prices to curb demand and stave off a pos­si­ble short­age. So far, none of the retail­ers reported sup­ply prob­lems. Prices also were boosted by the state’s 25 per­cent tax on retail pur­chases, includ­ing a 15 per­cent excise tax and a 10 per­cent sales tax. Vot­ers approved the levy in Novem­ber. Local taxes can add more to what cus­tomers pay. Shop own­ers said their sales were biggest the first day. Each day since, sales have been roughly half the New Year’s Day vol­ume, the busi­ness own­ers said. One-eighth of an ounce of mar­i­juana was sell­ing for an aver­age of $65 around the first of the year, accord­ing to Mar​i​juana​.com. Despite the surg­ing sales, Joaquin Ortega, co-owner of Den­ver Kush Club dis­pen­sary, was quick to note to Huff­Post that fed­eral laws against mar­i­juana sales and pos­ses­sion present obsta­cles to Colorado’s legal retail­ers. The Jus­tice Depart­ment has said it won’t chal­lenge legal­iza­tion laws in Wash­ing­ton state and Col­orado as long as the states pre­vent out-of-state dis­tri­b­u­tion, sales to minors and drugged dri­ving, among other con­di­tions. Still, the fed­eral pro­hi­bi­tion means banks won’t accept mar­i­juana busi­nesses for tra­di­tional bank accounts, and retail­ers said they can’t take advan­tage of tra­di­tional busi­ness tax write­offs.  “Peo­ple think we all became mil­lion­aires,” Ortega said. “But as a busi­ness owner, I can’t write any­thing off for the last three years.” Banks have said they fear they could be impli­cated as money laun­der­ers if they offer tra­di­tional bank­ing ser­vices to the pot busi­nesses. Mar­i­juana busi­nesses often can­not accept credit cards, leav­ing them to con­duct trans­ac­tions in cash. They say that’s a bur­den for taxes and pay­roll, and a safety risk. Mon­day night, Den­ver City Coun­cil urged bank­ing reg­u­la­tors to grant Col­orado mar­i­juana busi­nesses access to the fed­eral bank­ing sys­tem, so they can use the same bank­ing ser­vices as other busi­nesses. Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter (D-Colo.) is seek­ing reformed access to bank­ing for mar­i­juana busi­nesses with his Mar­i­juana Busi­ness Access to Bank­ing Act (H.R. 2652), which would cre­ate pro­tec­tions for banks that offer ser­vices to state-sanctioned marijuana-related busi­nesses. “The bank­ing leg­is­la­tion spon­sored by Con­gress­man Ed Perl­mut­ter is a com­mon sense approach to bring finan­cial legit­i­macy to the legal mar­i­juana indus­try,” Den­ver City Coun­cil­man Albus Brooks told Huff­Post. “It’s ludi­crous and unsus­tain­able to force large neigh­bor­hood busi­nesses to oper­ate entirely with cash. Con­gress needs to act, and act now.” The Wall Street Jour­nal reported Mon­day that the Depart­ment of Jus­tice is also draft­ing legal guid­ance on how banks can work with mar­i­juana busi­nesses in states like Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton, which both legal­ized recre­ational mar­i­juana for adults 21 and over. Dis­pen­saries in Wash­ing­ton state are expected to open later in 2014. Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: Matt Ferner Pub­lished: Jan­u­ary 8, 2014 Copy­right: 2014 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

839b8bfa8fe4gal1.jpg 150x63 Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week

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Mar­i­juana Sales Exceed $5 Mil­lion In First Week

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