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Sky High: Marijuana Sales Soar to Nearly $1 Billion in Colorado in 2015

© AP Photo / Brennan Linsley, FileIn this May 8, 2014 file photo, a customer pays cash for retail marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denve
In this May 8, 2014 file photo, a customer pays cash for retail marijuana at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denve - Sputnik International
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Recreational and medical cannabis brought tremendous success to Colorado businesses, selling a record-breaking $996 million last year.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, photo, Cannabis City clerk John Golby, left, helps customers looking over a display case of marijuana products at the shop in Seattle. A year into the nation’s experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves with a cautionary tale for Oregon, Alaska or other states that might follow suit: They’re wrestling not with the federal interference many initially feared, but with competition from their own medical marijuana systems or even outright black market sales. - Sputnik International
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Since pot became legal in Colorado in January 2014, adult Americans in that state can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The law opened up a new sector of the state's economy, largely dependent on agriculture.

On Tuesday, Colorado's Department of Revenue published their 2015 report, which reflects that the state raised more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees, with $35 million going toward school construction projects last year.

The total marijuana tax revenue includes the 2.9% retail and medical marijuana sales tax, 10% retail marijuana special sales tax, 15% marijuana excise tax, and retail/medical marijuana application and license fees.   

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Compared to 2014, pot sales grew by $300 million with total tax and license fees growing by $59 million during the same time, surpassing taxes from alcohol.

Recreational and medical marijuana stores are available statewide, though each city and county reserves the right to decide whether to permit its stores to sell the drug.

Colorado has become an attractive destination for tourists and, according to a survey conducted by the Denver Post, holidaymakers confessed they chose the state to visit because of marijuana legalization.

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