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Colorado projects nearly $600 million in retail and wholesale marijuana sales annuall

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Recreational marijuana is now legal to buy in Colorado, and it’s not cheap. But pot smokers who waited in five-hour long lines weren’t necessarily looking for a deal on Green Wednesday.

“Our most expensive strains sold the quickest,” said Toni Fox, proprietor of Denver’s 3D Cannabis Center, to The Huffington Post. “We’re closing Monday and Tuesday next week to reassess after the large volume of sales we are seeing.”

The Huffington Post spoke with owners at many of the roughly 30 dispensaries that sold legal weed on New Year’s Day, and they all said the same thing: an eighth of an ounce of marijuana, which would have normally sold for as low as $25, was fetching anywhere between $35 to $70, after taxes.

The proprietor of Denver-based Medicine Man revealed to The Denver Post that, after taxes, the shop was selling an eighth for about $64, and although The Associated Press found at least one shop selling the same amount for as much as $70,Marijuana.com found that the average price right now is approximately $65.

So which strains were the most popular? All of them, according to dispensary owners throughout the state. But many also said their own custom and award-winning strains were big sellers as well.

Many shops raised prices or enforced a purchasing cap of one eighth-ounce in order to mitigate against a possible marijuana shortage.

Prices were also increased by the new 25 percent tax — 15 percent excise and 10 percent sales — on all marijuana purchases in the state that voters approved in November, along with any other local jurisdictional taxes on top of that. Marijuana sales are expected to generate nearly $70 million in tax revenue for Colorado in 2014.

But some dispensary owners, like 3D’s Fox, chose to absorb the cost of excise tax in order to keep marijuana prices competitive. Fox told HuffPost that her most expensive eighths sold for approximately $50 after taxes.

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