“It’s crazy to think how much money states are flushing down the toilet by keeping marijuana in an illegal market,” said Mason Tvert, VP of Communications at Vicente Sederberg, LLP upon the release of a report that detailed how the over $1.2 billion raised in cannabis tax revenue has helped the state thrive.
According to the report released this week from Vicente Sederberg, LLP, since regulating cannabis for adult use in 2014, the Colorado government has collected more than $1 billion in cannabis-related taxes and fees, which have gone into local and state improvement programs.
This report coincides with and includes data from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s release of cannabis sales and revenue figures for April 2019. The Vicente Sederberg report, which offers specific figures and analyses on Colorado cannabis tax revenues can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/64MonthsOfA64.
Since legalizing, Colorado has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 licensed individuals working in the industry, according to the Department of Revenue. $6.56 billion worth of marijuana products have been sold in the state of Colorado since 2014.
Taxes collected by the state help fund a range of youth and public health programs, which include mental health services, addiction services, affordable housing, youth literacy initiatives, and anti-bullying programs at the K-12 level.
As the Vicente Sederberg report states, more than $283 million in marijuana-specific tax revenue that has been raised for K-12 schools, most which has been spent on school construction. The first $40 million raised each year was allocated through Amendment 64, which directed the Legislature to enact an excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana for adult use. The excise tax revenue was allocated to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program, funding the abovementioned school construction projects.
“We were never under the illusion that legalization would be a fiscal panacea, but we knew it would have a substantial and positive impact,” said Vicente Sederberg LLP founding partner Brian Vicente, “Funds are being used on everything from building schools to hiring school health professionals and paying for bullying prevention programs.”
Following the Department of Revenue report, Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis said: “Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector.”