By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
State taxes specific to the production and retail sale of marijuana totaled some $70 million in Colorado over the past year — nearly twice the amount collected for alcohol during this same period.
Financial data released this week by the Colorado Department of Revenue reports that state regulators collected $69,898,059 from marijuana-specific taxes from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. This total includes the collection of $43,938,721 from the imposition of a 10 percent special sales tax on retail sales to adults, and $25,959,338 collected from the imposition of a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana intended for commercial sales. In comparison, the state raised just under $41,837,647 from alcohol-specific taxes during this same period, including $27,309,606 from excise taxes collected on spirited liquors, $8,881,349 from excise taxes on beer, and $5,646,692 from excise taxes collected on vinous liquors.
Additional revenue attributable to the imposition of state sales taxes (2.9 percent) on retail sales of cannabis and/or booze were not included in the Department’s calculations. The majority of Colorado voters approved the imposition of cannabis-specific taxes (Proposition AA) in November 2013.
According to market research reported recently by Marijuana Business Daily, the average amount spent on marijuana in states where the drug is legal is $1,800 per year versus only $450 for alcohol.
In Washington state, where retail cannabis sales began last summer, data released today estimates that marijuana-specific tax revenues have generated $90 million in the past 15 months.
Source: NORML - make a donation