Denver, CO: A majority of Colorado voters have approved tax rates on the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis.
Voters in 2012 had previously approved a statewide ballot measure authorizing the establishment of state-licensed marijuana producers and retailers. Lawmakers this spring proposed tax rates on both licensed cannabis production and retail sales, both of which are set to begin early next year. Under state law, adults also have the option to grow up to six cannabis plants for their own personal use. Adults do not need to possess a state license to engage in personal cultivation.
On Tuesday, an estimated 65 percent of voters decided in favor of Proposition AA, which authorizes a 15 percent excise tax and a special sales tax of 10 percent on marijuana products sold by the state-licensed stores. Revenue derived from the taxes is intended to fund public school construction and to provide state oversight to cannabis businesses. Colorado NORML had opposed the proposed elevated taxation levels, opining, "It is our position that excessive taxation … has the potential effect to keep a black market for marijuana alive in Colorado."
Voters in various Colorado cities, including Denver and Boulder, also backed separate local retail taxes on cannabis sales. Starting in January, over 100 licensed retail outlets are expected to begin selling cannabis to those ages 21 and older.
Under the new tax scheme, cannabis will be among the most heavily taxed consumer products in the state.
For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500. Additional information is available from Colorado NORML here: http://www.coloradonorml.org/.