(Entrepeneur) Colorado charges three different taxes on marijuana sales: a 15 percent excise tax, a 2.9 percent tax on both medical and recreational sales, and a 10 percent “special sales tax” on retail sales. The state has a Marijuana Tax Cash Fund from which it distributes dollars.
So where is the state using the tax dollars pouring in from pot? These places, based on appropriations approved by the state Legislature for fiscal year 2016-2017:
- The first $40 million collected each year from the excise tax goes into BEST – the Building Excellent Schools Today fund, which will back construction projects to renovate or replace deteriorating public schools
- More than $18 million went to the Department of Public Health and Environment to fund many different programs. They include the Marijuana Education Campaign ($7 million), a state-run program that “encourages young Coloradans to think about how their goals will be easier to achieve without marijuana.” Another $6.7 million went to substance abuse prevention grants.
- The Department of Agriculture received $3 million for pesticide control, inspection services, 4H and FAA programs and other services.
- The Attorney General’s office received more than $1 million, including $286,766 for a special prosecutions unit.
- The Department of Education received $8.4 million for a variety of initiatives, including programs to stop bullying at schools and reduce the number of school dropouts. About half of the money went to the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program.
- The Governor’s Office received $216,944, most of which funded the Office of Marijuana Coordination.