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Where Does the Tax Money from Marijuana Sales in Colorado Go?

December 16, 2021

It’s the one billion dollar question, or rather 6.5 billion dollar question on everybody’s mind since weed became legal in Colorado. Where does all the tax money spent in the now legalized Colorado dispensaries go? How is it used? Indeed, there’s a 2.9% sales tax on medical marijuana and a 15% excise tax from grower to seller on recreational marijuana. This can account for a lower price for medical marijuana. There are also local taxes from city to city that may be applied. So where does all that tax money go?

First, there is a Marijuana Tax Cash Fund and it receives the largest amount of these funds. These funds must go to health education, health care, substance abuse awareness, prevention, and treatment programs- this in an effort to bring awareness and attention to substance abuse of all kinds. And finally  money from this fund goes to law enforcement. Though ultimately, it is at the discretion of the state lawmakers to decide exactly how these funds are allocated and spent within these categories. 

Next, that excise tax is entirely dedicated to schools. Yep, just like amendment 64 touted, the money is in fact going to schools. Hooray! There is a program called Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) and the first 40 million dollars raised by this tax goes straight towards this program. And while this may not seem like a lot of money, it is indeed making a difference to Colorado public schools. 

Then, the sales tax on marijuana sales in dispensaries goes to three specific places. First, a percentage is given to the state Public School Fund and is given to all local school districts. After that, another percentage is given to the state’s general fund. This money can be used on anything and in any way they see fit. The remaining percentage is give to the Marijuana Cash Tax Fund mentioned above.  

So while this sin tax on weed may seem excessive, it is nice to know that it is indeed being used to improve the state and education system. In fact, as far as sin taxes go, the tax on marijuana brings in the most revenue of all. It tops cigarette and tobacco excise taxes, gaming taxes, and liquor excise taxes respectively.

Bottom line, these taxes are being used for the betterment of the state in one way or another. More money is being used in the state from these taxes than when there was a marijuana prohibition and no money was being made. For that reason alone, I think we can all agree, making marijuana legal and using the tax money from its sales was a great idea, at least in hindsight.  

You can rest assured that when you spend your hard earned cash buying weed and other products at Altitude The Dispensary your money is being used for the better. They have fair prices and a variety of flower, wax, edibles and other products and accessories to meet your needs. Visit the Denver Dispensary for all your cannabis needs.