New Denver Report Shows an Increase in Tax Revenue and a Decline in Marijuana-Related Crime

DENVER – Retail marijuana sales and projected marijuana tax revenue are up, and marijuana-related crime continues to drop. Those are a few of the key statistics released by Denver in the City’s 2018 Annual Marijuana Report.

Key stats from the report showing data from January 2017-January 2018 include:

  • Retail marijuana sales jumped 29% in Denver from 2016 to 2017, while medical sales dropped 3%.
  • There is a projected increase of 8% in marijuana tax and licensing revenue in 2018 compared to 2017. Revenue in 2017 jumped 20% compared to 2016 totals.
  • Marijuana sales tax revenue in Denver constituted an estimated 3.4% of Denver’s general fund revenue in 2017 compared to 3.02% in 2016.
  • From 2014-2017, Denver’s portion of Colorado marijuana sales declined nearly -10% from 48.3 percent in 2014 to 38.7 percent in 2017 as other Colorado cities expanded marijuana sales.
  • From 2014-2018 more than $11 million of marijuana revenue will be granted for distribution to youth-serving organizations by Denver’s Offices of Children’s Affairs and Behavioral Health along with additional funds allocated for Denver’s “High Costs” youth prevention campaign.
  • In 2018, $12.4 million from marijuana-related revenue was appropriated to add investments for deferred maintenance, affordable housing and opioid intervention in Denver. The City budgeted $8.8 million in expenditures across city departments and agencies for regulation, enforcement, and education.
  • Marijuana related crime in 2017 accounted for less than 1 percent of overall crime in Denver at .30% compared to .42% in 2016.
  • Marijuana industry-related crime in 2017 represented less than ½ of 1 percent of overall crime in Denver at .21% compared to .32% in 2016.

“This new report demonstrates Denver’s coordinated approach between multiple agencies to manage marijuana is working,” said Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We took on the daunting challenge of becoming the first major city in America to manage legalized recreational marijuana and we are having success. That’s because of coordination between Denver’s Excise and Licenses, Denver’s Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Public Health and Environment, Community Planning and Development, as well as our partners in other city agencies, the community from the marijuana industry and public health advocates.”

2017 marked the fourth year of retail sales of marijuana in Denver and the industry has grown to more than 1,100 business licenses operating out of nearly 500 locations. The first licensed marijuana consumption establishment was opened in 2018.


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