Colorado: State NORML Affiliate Urges ‘No’ Vote on Ballot Proposal to Increase Retail Taxes on Adult-Use Marijuana Sales

Voters will decide this November on a statewide ballot proposal that seeks to increase taxes on adult-use cannabis sales. Officials with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office confirmed last week that proponents of the measure, Ballot Initiative #25 (a/k/a the LEAP initiative), gathered the requisite number of signatures from registered voters to qualify it for the November election.

If approved by voters, it would impose an additional three percent tax on adult-use cannabis products sold by licensed retailers. The tax would increase to five percent by 2024. Funding from the new taxes would be directed toward out-of-school services, such as academic tutoring and mental health programs, to eligible students. In 2013, voters approved a separate ballot proposal imposing new excise taxes and sale taxes on adult-use marijuana products.

Colorado NORML is urging voters to decide against Initiative #25, opining that excessive taxation on regulated marijuana products will drive consumers back to the illicit market. “This Ballot Initiative is an unnecessary tax burden,” the group states in an action alert.

Current regulations already impose tax rates in excess of 30 percent on cannabis goods in Colorado. Much of that tax revenue is already earmarked toward school funding programs. In 2020, the state received over $387 million in taxes and fees from licensed marijuana operations.

Colorado NORML’s action alert is online here.