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DENVER - Sales of recreational marijuana spiked sharply in March as more licensed marijuana companies came online, according to a new state tax report.

Stores sold $19.6 million worth of pot for recreational use. March sales totaled roughly $4.5 million more than February, representing a 30 percent increase.

The data show an overall increase in marijuana sales driven by out-of-state customers and new in-state purchasers of the drug, with medical marijuana sales holding steady at $34.5 million.

March represents the first month in which recreational pot sales totaled more than half the dollar amount of medical marijuana sales in Colorado.

Medical marijuana patients pay only regular sales tax on their purchases, whereas recreational marijuana customers pay additional "sin taxes" on the drug.

The first quarter of the year brought in $7.3 million in total tax revenue from recreational pot sales.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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