Colorado’s Marijuana Tax Revenues Nearly Double Last Year’s Figures

COLORADO: Legal marijuana tax revenues have been breaking records in Colorado this summer, nearly doubling monthly numbers from last year and on pace to exceed projections of legal sales that bring revenue back to the state.

Through the first seven months of this year, Colorado has brought in nearly $73.5m, putting the state on pace to collect over $125m for the year.

In 2014, experts predicted legal cannabis would bring in upwards of $70m to the state’s tax coffers. In reality, the state collected just $44m in marijuana taxes.

Sales totals fell short of projections in 2014, the first year of legalized recreational sales in the state (and the nation) But this year, tax revenue from marijuana sales is exceeding initial projections of $70m.

Colorado Raises $150 Million From Marijuana. Will More States Legalize?

COLORADO: Colorado has brought in more than $150 million in marijuana tax revenue, according to official state data.

That doesn’t make it a budgetary panacea, warn lawmakers.

“The big lesson we tell other states is you probably shouldn’t legalize marijuana if you want to make money – that’s not why you do it,” said J. Skyler McKinley, deputy director of the governor’s Office of Marijuana Coordination, to the Huffington Post. “You do it because you think that a regulated marketplace might be safer than an unregulated marketplace, or you believe that the war on drugs didn’t work.”

3 Cities Sue Adams County Over Recreational Pot Taxes

COLORADO:  Three suburban Denver cities are suing Adams County to stop it from collecting taxes from recreational marijuana businesses already being taxed by the cities and the state.

The lawsuit filed this week argues Adams County shouldn’t get tax revenue because it doesn’t have a regulatory system for recreational pot sales like the cities that are suing. The lawsuit also contends Adams County lacks legal authority to impose the tax, which voters approved in November.

Aurora, Commerce City and Northglenn filed the lawsuit. Commerce City is in Adams County, and portions of Aurora and Northglenn are as well.

An Aurora marijuana business, Terrapin Care Station, is joining the cities suing.

 

Medical Marijuana Tax Revenues Are Small, But Growing

MAINE:  Maine’s medical marijuana industry accounted for up to $75 million in sales and generated as much as much as $5 million in tax revenue for the state last year.

The numbers are small but experts and lawmakers say they are expected to grow, especially if Maine joins other states and legalizes recreational pot use.

State Rep. Adam Goode, House chairman of the Legislature’s Taxation Committee, tells the Portland Press Herald the tax revenue isn’t going to fix any problems, but it helps.

Money flows into the state from the medical marijuana program in three ways: fees charged to caregivers, sales tax paid at dispensaries and sales tax paid by patients who buy directly from caregivers.

$694 Million Expected In Washington State Pot Tax Revenue Through 2019

WASHINGTON:  Washington’s legal recreational marijuana market is bringing in more tax revenue to the state than originally predicted, state officials said Wednesday.

The most recent revenue forecast released by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council shows that the industry is expected to bring in more than $694 million in state revenue through the middle of 2019. A previous forecast in September had that projection at about $636 million.

The latest report shows that nearly $43 million from a variety of marijuana-related taxes – including excise, sales, and business taxes – is expected to be collected through the middle of next year.

About $237 million is expected for the next two-year budget that ends mid-2017, and $415 million more is expected for the 2017-19 budget biennium.

Colorado Is Using Tax Revenue From Marijuana Sales To Fund Substance Abuse Programs In Schools

COLORADO:  Colorado has started distributing the tax revenue collected from the sale of legalized marijuana and funneling it back out into public programs aimed at preventing, treating, and regulating pot use.

The state announced last week that 11 school districts that had applied for grants would receive nearly $1 million in funding from marijuana tax revenues, with the state promising more than $1.5 million to future applicants. These grants will go towards hiring school nurses, social workers, and psychologists to help prevent and treat substance abuse among students, according to the Denver Post.

Much of the remaining revenue is being distributed to substance abuse treatment programs, school construction, and training and equipment for law enforcement agencies to deal with marijuana-specific problems, including driving while under the influence of marijuana, according to a bill passed by the legislature earlier this year. That the revenue from legalized pot is being directly used to prevent pot use and abuse was exactly the intent of lawmakers, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Democratic State Senator Pat Steadman.

 

Marijuana To Boost Washington State Tax Revenue By $25M In The Next Year

WASHINGTON:  Legal marijuana could boost Washington state’s tax revenue by $25 million by next July, with an estimated $200 million increase by mid-2017, according to state economists.

The first available data on taxes and fees the state can expect from legalized recreational marijuana were released on Thursday, and the state’s budget outlooks has improved, economist Steve Lerch tells the Spokesman-Review. However, more than half of the revenue brought in by legal marijuana is required to go to specific programs, with much of it being eaten up by increasing salaries and existing government programs.

But the regulating agency, the state Liquor Control Board, said nearly $14 million worth of marijuana was sold between July 8 – when legal weed stores first opened – and last Monday. Such numbers are expected to increase as the number of marijuana vendors increases.

Economic forecasters are predicting that the state’s legal recreational marijuana market is expected to bring in about $636 million to state coffers through the middle of 2019.

Illinois Towns See Jobs Ahead In Medical Marijuana

ILLINOIS:  The prospect of adding jobs — even as few as 30 — has led officials in many shrinking Illinois’ communities to set aside any qualms about the state’s legalization of medical marijuana and to get friendly with would-be growers.

The aspiring growers and their agents have been racing from town to town, shaking hands with civic leaders and promising to bring jobs and tax revenue if they’re able to snag one of the 21 cultivation permits the state will grant this fall. Although not a single plant has sprouted, Illinois’ new medical marijuana industry is pushing the boundaries of what is considered attractive economic development.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a company say, ‘Hey, we want to bring in 50 jobs and we want to bring in tax revenue to your school,'” said Liz Skinner, the mayor of Delavan, a central Illinois city of 1,700 residents. The city has annexed property optioned by Joliet-based ICC Holdings as a possible site for a marijuana cultivation center, and Skinner said a new tax increment financing district may be the next step.

 

Marijuana Taxes in Colorado — An Early Clue

COLORADO: Across America, lawmakers are eyeing tax revenue from legalized marijuana. Colorado and Washington are each officially expecting over $100 million annually in marijuana excise taxes. In a few days, the Colorado Department of Revenue is due to report how much marijuana tax was paid there for January, the first full month of recreational sales anywhere ever.

But the report on January collections will tell us next to nothing about what other states can expect, and only a little about Colorado. You can multiply January taxes by 12, but that won’t show annual marijuana revenue the state can count on from now on — for two reasons. First, the mature market will not resemble the start-up January market. Second, Colorado will start taxing some transactions that it exempted in January.

Start-up Uncertainties

In future months, Colorado’s industry will probably sell more grams of marijuana than it sold in January, but at lower prices. More grams will pull taxes up. Lower prices will push taxes down. It’s not clear where taxes will end up.