APTOPIX Rethinking Pot The First Sales
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FILE - Employee David Marlow, right, helps a customer, who smells a strain of marijuana before buying it, at the crowded sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began retail marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

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DENVER — Newly released state figures show Colorado's marijuana dispensaries sold $1.3 billion worth of recreational and medical pot in 2016.

The Denver Post reports that the Colorado Department of Revenue released tax data Thursday showing the third straight year for growth since the state legalized recreational marijuana sales.

Last year's total pot sales were up from about $996 million in 2015 and $699 million the previous year.

According to the 2016 data, recreational marijuana accounted for $875 million of the sales total, while $438 million of medical pot was sold.

Colorado brought in close to $200 million in tax and fees revenue last year.

Marijuana tax revenue helps fund school construction projects and goes toward other areas such as public health and law enforcement.

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