Revenue From Colorado Marijuana Tax Expected To Double In 2015

COLORADO: It’s heady times in the Mile High City, and that’s just at the state budget office.

Colorado is on track to more than double the state’s marijuana tax revenues this year, showing up the $44 million collected in 2014 with a projected 2015 windfall of $125 million, reports The Guardian. The state hoped to collect $70 million in 2014, but fell short.

According to financial data released last week, the state also raked in significantly more money taxing marijuana than it did taxing alcohol for the yearlong period of July 2014 to June 2015, with marijuana netting almost $70 million and alcohol just under $42 million.

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.

Why Colorado Has A Tax-Free Holiday For Marijuana

COLORADO:  An accounting error in Colorado is paying off for marijuana consumers Wednesday, when a quirk in a state tax law prompts the state to suspend most taxes on recreational pot.

The one-day pot tax holiday means Colorado won’t collect 10 percent sales taxes on pot. The state is also suspending a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana growers.

The tax break is happening because Colorado underestimated overall state tax collections last year. Under the state constitution, the accounting error triggers an automatic suspension of any new taxes — in this case, the recreational marijuana taxes voters approved in 2013.

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.”

Washington State House Passes Recreational Marijuana Reform Bill

WASHINGTON:  The House on Friday passed a measure that makes several changes to the state’s new recreational marijuana market, including eliminating the three-tier tax structure and replacing it with a single excise tax of 37 percent at the point of sale.

House Bill 2136 passed the House on a 59-38 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration. An amendment that passed Friday removed language from the original bill that would have only allowed local bans on licensed marijuana businesses if approved by the jurisdiction’s voters. 

To encourage more cities and counties to allow marijuana businesses, the bill directs the state to share pot revenue with jurisdictions that do so. It would also allow them to adopt more flexible zoning for where pot grows and stores can be located.

Colorado To Offer One-Day Tax Holiday On Marijuana

COLORADO:  Colorado will repeal sales taxes on marijuana Sept. 16, thanks to a quirk in its constitution.

The one-time-only holiday from the 10 percent state sales tax on recreational pot is likely to generate buzz in the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

The little-noticed provision is part of a larger bill that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Thursday that includes a ballot initiative in November and a permanent tax cut on recreational pot sales in 2017.

“This fiscal glitch that we have with the constitution … that’s part of the magic of living in Colorado,” the Democratic governor said.

Proposed Marijuana Sales Tax Unveiled By Oregon Legislators

OREGON:  Oregon legislators on Monday unveiled a proposed retail sales tax for marijuana that would replace the harvest tax approved by voters.

The proposed sales tax was one of the major provisions included in a new 104-page amendment aimed at implementing the marijuana legalization initiative approved last November by voters.

There were also two other key developments Monday as legislators continued to work on marijuana legislation:

Feds Propose 50% Marijuana Tax—As A Tax Cut

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Should marijuana businesses pay tax on gross profits or net profits? It sounds like a silly question. After all, virtually every business in every country pays tax on net profits, after expenses. But the topsy-turvy rules for marijuana seem to defy logic. And taxes are clearly a big topic these days.

Many have suggested that legalizing marijuana would mean huge tax revenues. As more states legalize it, the cash hauls look ever more alluring. In Colorado, the governor’s office estimated that it would collect $100 million in taxes from the first year of recreational marijuana. In the end, Colorado’s 2014 tax haul for recreational marijuana was $44 million, causing some to say that Colorado’s marijuana money is going up in smoke.

Still, that isn’t bad for the first year. Colorado was first to regulate marijuana production and sale, so other governments are watching. Colorado also collected sales tax on medical marijuana and various fees, for a total of about $76 million. The taxes are significant, but not all the sales are going through legal channels. Perhaps it was silly to think they would.

Taxes For Medical Marijuana Sales Magically Appear In House Bill 321

HAWAII:  As you might be aware, in 2000 Hawaii enacted a medical use of marijuana law (Act 228, Session Laws of Hawaii 2000). The problem, of course, has been how to get this medical marijuana to those who need

it without violating other laws. So this year our Legislature is working on House Bill 321, which would establish standards for and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The bill started off in the House and was referred to three committees there: Health, Judiciary and Finance. It passed all three and went over to the Senate. The Senate referred the bill to four committees: Health, Public Safety, Judiciary and Labor and Ways and Means.

After the first two committees, the bill was still a regulatory bill. It then was heard by Judiciary and Ways and Means committees jointly, and those committees amended the bill by, among other things, adding two sections. One creates a special general excise tax rate for retail marijuana sales. The rate is 10 percent. The other imposes a GET surcharge on the same sales. That rate is 15 percent. So here we have a magical appearing tax. Instead of a rabbit coming out of the hat, we get a new, hefty 25 percent tax.

 

Washington Lawmakers Tackle Marijuana Taxes

WASHINGTON: On the first day of the special legislative session, Washington House members took up a bill that would change the way the state taxes recreational marijuana.

Washington lawmakers are back in Olympia this week after failing to pass a two-year operating budget during the regular legislative session. Now, lawmakers have 30 days to address the operating budget, a transportation package and satisfy a court mandate to adequately fund the state’s public school system.

Also on their to-do list is cracking down on the illicit marijuana market by addressing the current tax structure.

With Oregon’s recreational market about to come online, the bill could have particular implications for border counties such as Clark County.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, chief sponsor of House Bill 2136, which passed the House in a 70-25 vote, said a lower tax rate would better align with both the black market and Oregon. Carlyle’s bill would change the tax structure to a 30 percent tax applied only at the point of sale. Currently a 25 percent tax is applied to recreational marijuana three times as it goes from grower to producer to processor.