A good portion of the money supports our schools.
It’s been almost five years since recreational marijuana sales became legal in the state of Colorado, and the tax revenue has already done a lot of good. The Denver Office of Marijuana Policy expects to receive more than $48 million in revenue from marijuana tax this year.
In the city of Denver, a portion of the revenue is dedicated to education and regulation efforts, with nearly $13 million each year going towards youth prevention. The rest typically goes to the general fund, but funded several projects in 2018, including $4 million to maintain parks and recreation centers. $8 million each year also goes towards Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund.
The state, on the other hand, uses the money differently. The Department of Revenue collected $250,968,890 in tax revenue from marijuana sales in fiscal year 2017-2018. First, $40 million of the excise tax money funded school construction efforts, as mandated by the constitution. The rest went to the Public School Permanent Fund. Special sales tax on retail marijuana was directed toward the general fund, of which $30 million went to the Public School Fund. 47 percent of the state’s total revenue from marijuana went to schools overall.
A portion of the general fund, along with sales tax on medical marijuana, goes towards the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, which has goals that include enforcement and regulation, public health/safety, and youth prevention.
This flow chart from the Marijuana Industry Group shows where the money goes, and this video thoroughly explains it as well.
Courtesy of the Marijuana Industry Group
It’s apparent the tax revenue from marijuana retail goes to good use, but it should be noted that this money represents a mere fraction of the total tax revenue earned by the city and state each year. Marijuana revenue accounts for about 3.5 percent of Denver’s total funds, and the state of Colorado gets less than one percent of its revenue from marijuana taxes.
Do you think other states should legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use? Let us know in the comments