It's too soon to call it a record. But the sales of recreational marijuana in the first year of legalization exceeded initial estimates and tripled the number of sales of cannabis for medical use. 

Those are the takeaways from the release of sales numbers from the Montana Department of Revenue this week, the first snapshot looking at an entire year of marijuana sales since voters in the Treasure State legalized marijuana in 2021. 

The state reports the total of all marijuana sales, both recreational and medicinal marijuana amounted to $303,563,879 in 2022. That's the final estimate based on figures through December. 

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Way more buyers for recreational weed

And the statistics from the Cannabis Control Division show how much recreational pot Montanans purchased, compared to marijuana used for medical reasons, which has been available for several years. 

Adult-use or recreational marijuana sales amounted to $209,947,328, well above the $93,616,551 for medical marijuana. The numbers also show recreational sales running well ahead of the initial estimates presented to voters. Last spring, estimates had projected Montana's total cannabis sales would hit $174 million by year's end. 

Sales have settled into a solid pace

While sales fluctuated in the first half of the year, monthly recreational marijuana sales settled down to just below $20 million a month from July through December. All totals are based on the "retail price" for marijuana and marijuana products. 

Department of Revenue says all that marijuana meant over $45 million in tax revenue from both categories in 2022, one of the main reasons many voters gave for finally legalizing recreational marijuana for adults.

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