January’s $8.8M in pot taxes is highest yet
The Associated Press
DENVER — Colorado reported its best month yet for recreational marijuana sales in January, with a tenfold spike since last year in the tax stream designated specifically for schools.
Colorado notched $8.8 million from marijuana-related taxes and fees in January. The numbers were reported this week, the first time Colorado had a month to compare with a year-ago period.
Most striking in the January numbers was a spike in the tax stream designated specifically for schools. That excise tax brought in $2.3 million. That’s more than 10 times the haul from January 2014, when Colorado started collecting the tax, when the excise tax raised $195,000.
Colorado’s marijuana industry was given a tax-free period when recreational sales began to transfer pot plants from the medical industry to the recreational industry. As a result, excise taxes for the first few months were quite low.
By now, Colorado’s pot shops have sold all their tax-free pot, so the plants they’re growing now are subject to a 15 percent excise tax.
The excise taxes are designated specifically for school construction. The rest of the taxes are spent by state lawmakers, who have used the money on regulating the new industry, and on things like police training and drug education.
The January tax report is the final monthly tally lawmakers will have before setting next year’s budget. That’s important because Colorado’s rising tax revenues are triggering a mandatory refund of the pot taxes, a quirk of constitutional spending limits.
State lawmakers are expected to pass a measure to ask voters this fall to authorize keeping the pot taxes instead of refunding them. That measure has yet to be introduced.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Redstone’s one and only road will be turned into a line of tents and storefront stations peddling crafts Saturday.