Sales tax department estimates a meager growth in retail marijuana sales in Colorado as per a document released on Tuesday.
Another estimate revealed revenue of $4.1 earned by Colorado government out of medical and recreational marijuana sale.
But much of the increase came from fees collected from medical marijuana businesses and not additional sales.
Maximum earning comes from the fees charged towards license for the retailers to sell marijuana.
The total sales taxes collection was about $30,000. February’s collection from about $1.4 million to about $1.43 million proved that the pot market didn’t raise much despite the opening of hundreds of pot shops.
As per a tax analyst report, the total collection in January was made from 59 recreational marijuana business houses. That number increased to 83 businesses by February; and went up to about 190 by the end of March.
Colorado lawmakers who write budget measures started work on the pot tax figures Tuesday.
Colorado budget lawmakers have started their study on March tax on Tuesday
However, the current budget presented recently of $23 billion does not include marijuana tax. It has been said that a separate budget plan will be made specific for tax budget.
Last year, Colorado voters appealed that the initial $40 million of pot excise taxes should go to school construction. Governor Hickenlooper has suggested spending the fund mostly on youth harm prevention and police training and established a study team to research on marijuana effects on pregnant women. But lawmakers who will finally decide how the money is spent seemed suspicious on Tuesday of distributing up the fund that is yet to come.
Last week, Governor cut short his marijuana appeal by $20 million. But the governor’s simplified proposal still adds up to about $54 million, more than lawmakers feel confident Colorado will collect.
Instead, members of the Joint Budget Committee said they’d want to consider marijuana tax proceeds as gambling taxes. That means that they’d collect marijuana taxes but delay spending them by a year unless the tax generation is not realized consistently throughout the financial year.
Colorado can’t wait to start spending some of the pot tax money on youth marijuana-use prevention and drug treatment, said Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen. “It’s pretty easy to keep kids out of casinos,” Gerou said. “But we cannot control this particular substance the same way we do gambling,” he said.
Gerou said children welfare could be affected by marijuana legalization while waiting for the lawmaker to act; however, the debate on pot tax expenditure will continue on Thursday.