Steamboat Springs marijuana industry continues to grow in 2016 |

Steamboat Springs marijuana industry continues to grow in 2016

A Rocky Mountain High shot glass is for sale at Steamboat Treasures & Tees next to shot glasses featuring the More Barn in Steamboat Springs. Marijuana-themed merchandise is becoming more popular at some local stores following the legalization of the drug.
Scott Franz

— Through July, marijuana dispensaries in Steamboat Springs sold almost $900,000 more in product than they did during the first seven months of 2015.

And by the end of the year, city officials are expecting more than $10 million worth of marijuana will have been sold in the city.

Sales of local medical and retail marijuana rang in at $6.1 million through the end of July.

July was also a record-breaking month for pot sales in Steamboat, as well as the state.

The dispensaries here sold just over $1 million in product in that busy summer month.

A vast majority of those sales came on the recreational side of the industry and not the medical side.

City Finance Director Kim Weber said Tuesday only 15 percent of the sales tax revenue the city collected from marijuana in July came from medical sales, while 85 percent came from recreational sales.

According to the Denver Post, pot sales statewide topped $122 million in July.

The state total marked a 27 percent increase over 2015.

Sales were up 22 percent in Steamboat.

Liquor store sales in the city were up 7 percent.

The Post report noted that the spike in marijuana sales came a month after a new state law allowed tourists to buy more pot per day.

Adam Orens, a founding partner of the Marijuana Policy Group, told the Post pot sales were likely bolstered by summer activities such as backyard parties, concerts and festivals.

“I believe it drives more people to consume more alcohol and marijuana,” he said.

Steamboat is on pace to surpass the $9.1 million in marijuana sales posted last year.

Through July, the industry had added $245,494 to the city’s sales tax coffers.

By comparison, liquor stores generated $488,768 in sales tax revenue for the city.

Weber said while the new marijuana industry is in a phase of significant growth, she expects the sales growth will eventually slow down.

“At some point, I think it will balance out instead of growing and growing and start to grow at the same rate as our general sales tax,” she said. “What that point is I think is difficult to gauge since it’s such a new industry.”

Weber is projecting the industry will post $10.6 million in taxable sales in the city by the end of this year.

That would be a 16 percent increase in sales over last year.

The city currently limits the number of recreational marijuana sales licenses it issues to three.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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