Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana, and the industry’s been studied closely ever since. Well this month, Colorado passed another major milestone when lobbying firm VS Strategies announced that since cannabis sales began in January 2014, the state has raised more than $500 million in marijuana tax revenue.
In addition to the tax revenue milestone, the Colorado Department of Revenue also disclosed that marijuana taxes and fees put the total sales in May at $127.7 million, making it the twelfth month in a row where statewide sales of cannabis eclipsed $100 million. So far in 2017 there have been $620 million in marijuana sales with the state of Colorado receiving $95 million in taxes.
According to the bill that legalized marijuana, 51 percent of money raised by the cannabis taxes are directed towards education, 14.2 percent towards substance abuse prevention and treatment and 11.9 percent towards regulation.
Local governments have also enjoyed the extra revenue as well. VS Strategies, a lobbying firm that advocated for marijuana legalization in 2012, notes that Pueblo County in Colorado used $420,000 to provide college scholarships and the city of Edgewater used the money to fix all their streets and sidewalks. And as we’ve noted previously, the city of Aurora has used $1.5 million in marijuana tax revenue to provide new services for the homeless.
Although it’s not all good news for Colorado marijuana consumers, as taxes on cannabis products increased from 10 to 15 percent on July 1st. But at least they’ll know their money is going towards good causes.