Rocky Mountain Revenue
It's a gold mine:
Colorado's legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.Pot as the way to prosperity?
The proposal outlines plans to spend some $99 million next fiscal year on substance abuse prevention, youth marijuana use prevention and other priorities. The money would come from a statewide 12.9 percent sales tax on recreational pot. Colorado's total pot sales next fiscal year were estimated to be about $610 million.
Retail sales began Jan. 1 in Colorado. Sales have been strong, though exact figures for January sales won't be made public until early next month.
The governor predicted sales and excise taxes next fiscal year would produce some $98 million, well above a $70 million annual estimate given to voters when they approved the pot taxes last year. The governor also includes taxes from medical pot, which are subject only to the statewide 2.9 percent sales tax.