Colorado Expects $184M in Pot Taxes Within 18 Months

Image: Colorado Expects $184M in Pot Taxes Within 18 Months Recreational (retail) marijuana at the LoDo Wellness Center in Denver.

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 07:52 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Colorado expects to earn $184 million in taxes from its legal marijuana market in the first 18 months, much of which is going to be used to stop kids from using pot.

The state's Joint Budget Committee report, released by Gov. John Hickenlooper, is the first official estimate of how much Colorado will take in from marijuana taxes from Jan. 1 of this year, when it was legalized, until June 30, 2015, the end of the next fiscal year, CNN reported.

The committee projected total marijuana sales during that period of about $610 million, higher than originally expected, according to CNN.

The committee's budget proposal includes allocating $45.5 million for the prevention of youth marijuana use, $40.4 million for treatment of substance abuse, and $12.4 million for public health.

"We view our top priority as creating an environment where negative impacts on children from marijuana legalization are avoided completely," Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to legislative budget writers, the Associated Press reported.

The governor also reportedly proposed a $5.87 million, three-year "statewide media campaign on marijuana use" highlighting the health risks associated with pot.

"This package represents a strong yet cautious first step" for regulating pot, wrote Hickenlooper.

The rosy tax projections came from updated figures on the number of marijuana retail stores in Colorado and how much consumers are paying for pot.

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