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Colorado Dispensaries Sell Over $20 Million In Recreational Marijuana In April

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COLORADO MARIJUANA
With the Colorado state capitol building visible in the background, partygoers dance to live music and smoke pot on the first of two days at the annual 4/20 marijuana festival in Denver, Saturday April 19, 2014. The annual event is the first 420 marijuana celebration since retail marijuana stores began selling in January 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

According to the latest state tax collection data released Monday, Colorado had another banner month in legal, recreational marijuana sales.

In April, dispensaries across the state sold about $22 million in retail marijuana, according to The Associated Press. April's totals were likely bolstered by the 4/20 marijuana celebration that drew large crowds in Denver over the holiday weekend.

Revenue from recreational marijuana has been mostly steadily rising since the beginning of the year, when the historic first sales began. April's revenue was up more than 15 percent from March, which saw $19 million in sales across the state. In February and January, around $14 million in revenue was brought in each month, according to state figures.

Despite the excitement surrounding the historic legalization of recreational pot, medical marijuana continues to steadily and vastly outsell retail pot. April medical cannabis sales were about $32 million, down about $2 million from March.

Medical marijuana was legalized in the state more than a decade ago, while recreational marijuana wasn't legalized until 2012 with the first sales beginning on January 1, 2014.

With both medical and recreational marijuana legal in the state, Colorado has already raked in over $27 million from all taxes, licenses and fees this fiscal year -- which includes several months in 2013, prior to the first sales of recreational marijuana in the state -- according to state Department of Revenue data.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said in February that he expected combined sales from legal medical and recreational marijuana in the state to reach nearly $1 billion, and forecast the state would collect about $134 million in taxes and fees during the next fiscal year that begins in July. Citing uncertainty in the marijuana market, Hickenlooper later scaled backed those predictions, saying he now expects the state to collect about $114 million in taxes and fees.

More marijuana dispensaries continue to open. As of June 3, more than 200 marijuana dispensaries were licensed, according to the state Department of Revenue. That's about half of the more than 500 total shops statewide that are eligible to obtain a retail marijuana sales license.

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