Colorado's coffers are around $2 million more full, thanks to taxes collected in January in connection with legal recreational marijuana sales.
On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state to sell recreational weed. Washington state will start selling -- and taxing -- legal recreational pot this summer.
But some had expected Colorado's tax take to be better.
First legal weed sales, taxes
The Colorado Department of Revenue figures released this week show that in the first month of sales, the state pulled in around $1.4 million from the 10 percent state sales tax on recreational marijuana. Another $416,690 came in thanks to the state's standard 2.9 percent sales tax on all retail transactions.
These sales taxes will go toward marijuana-related education programs and similar projects, not for general state expenditures.
Another tax, 15 percent on wholesale transactions, brought in $195,318 in January. That money will help pay for school construction.
Add in the taxes and fees from medicinal marijuana sales and Colorado got around $3.5 million in January from total pot sales.
Legal pot taxes lagging
Two million bucks is nothing to scoff at, but Colorado's first tax take on recreational marijuana is not quite what was predicted.
If the recreational pot tax collection remains the same throughout 2014, that will come to $24 million during the calendar year. Weed supporters had predicted much more in tax revenue during the legalization campaign.
Even government officials were more optimistic.
Before the 2013 vote, Colorado legislative analysts projected that in the first six months of 2014, which also are the final six months of the state's 2013-2014 fiscal year, the state would bring in $33.5 million in marijuana taxes. For the full 2014-2015 fiscal year, $67 million in pot taxes was projected.
And Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's budget proposal issued in February cited projections of $184 million for all marijuana-related revenue over the 18-month period that ends June 30, 2015.
No one is quite sure why the January recreational pot taxes lagged. Some point to a state rule that exempted some early marijuana transfers from the excise tax.
And there's hope that as more retail operations open, the tax collections will pick up.
Officially, state officials say they are happy.
"The first month of sales for recreational marijuana fell in line with expectations," Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, said in a statement. "We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to incorporate this data into future forecasts."
You've got to suspect, however, that Colorado is hoping for higher marijuana tax collections as the year goes on.
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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book "The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes" and co-author of the e-book "Future Millionaires' Guidebook."