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Colorado Marijuana Tax Totals $2M in One Month: Now, How to Spend It?

By Alexandra Ward   |   Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 11:35 AM

The state of Colorado is wrestling with a good problem to have: how to spend the estimated $2 million in marijuana tax revenue generated by the sale of recreational pot in January 2014.

January marked the first month Colorado was legally allowed to start selling pot for recreational use to adults ages 21 and older with purchases limited to 1 ounce. More than $14 million worth of non-medicinal recreational pot was sold in January, Forbes reported, but thanks to the layers of taxes imposed, that means more than $2 million in tax revenue alone.

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Recreational marijuana sales in Colorado are subject to a 10 percent special sales tax, a 15 percent retail marijuana excise tax, and an additional 2.9 percent sales tax, as well as license fees, according to CNN Money.

"The biggest problem is actually how to spend the money: It’s not exactly a terrible problem to have," Forbes' Kelly Phillips Erb wrote. "Voters approved a law last year that requires the first $40 million collected from the special excise taxes to be directed towards school construction. But after that? The state hasn't yet decided to do with the money."

According to the Denver Post, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed using the money to fund anti-drug campaigns aimed at kids. In a budget plan released last month, Hickenlooper said he expects the state to receive an estimated $134 million in tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana during the fiscal year beginning in July. That would equal an estimated $1 billion in sales, the Post noted.

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The state of Colorado is wrestling with a good problem to have: how to spend the estimated $2 million in marijuana tax revenue generated by the sale of recreational pot in January 2014.
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