Colorado Marijuana Sales Surpass $1 Million On First Day: Shop Owners

01/03/2014 02:44 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
  • Andrea Rael Associate Denver Editor, The Huffington Post

Call it "Green Wednesday."

Pot shop owners in Colorado claim they made over $1 million in sales statewide on the first day of legalized recreational marijuana sales alone, according to Denver's 9News. Nationwide, the legalized pot industry is expected to bring in a reported $2.34 billion in 2014, including both medical and recreational sales.

Most of the 24 shops that opened Wednesday were in Denver. Owners in the city expressed concern about taking in large amount of cash, since federal banking regulations currently prohibit banks from working with the marijuana industry while the drug remains classified as illegal by the federal government.

“We all know this needs to be fixed because there is not one good reason why these businesses are not allowed to have banking accounts -- only bad reasons: security concerns and accountability concerns,” Mike Elliott, executive director of the trade association Medical Marijuana Industry Group, told KDVR.

A solution may soon be reached, but while the industry grapples with how to handle its cash, Colorado is banking on pot: with an eighth of an ounce currently selling between $35 and $70 after taxes, the state estimates that the retail marijuana industry will bring in $67 million in tax revenue.

The first $40 million generated by the state excise tax is dedicated to school construction, and the rest is slated for marijuana regulation.

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