Marijuana Generates Record $8.8M in January Taxes & Fees: Tax Rebate Coming?

Marijuana Generates Record $8.8M in January Taxes & Fees: Tax Rebate Coming?
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Many observers assumed that the amount of taxes and fees generated by marijuana sales would begin falling in the second year of limited legal sales.

Nope.

Just-released figures from January show that the state collected a record amount — just over $8.8 million.

This total includes a windfall for school construction, among other sources that will benefit from the cash infusion.

Meanwhile, the popularity of cannabis, which generated nearly $680 million in revenue during 2014, is expected to result in a tax rebate for Coloradans — although how much remains a subject of spirited debate.

Below, see the complete marijuana taxes, licenses, fee transfers and distribution document issued by the State of Colorado.

It reflects January 2015 sales as reported in February.

A file photo from January 1, 2014, when limited recreational marijuana sales became legal.
A file photo from January 1, 2014, when limited recreational marijuana sales became legal.
Photo by Brandon Marshall

According to the report, the total of all marijuana taxes, licenses and fees in January came to $8,802,295 — a record, notes the Associated Press.

Of that amount, $2,349,219 was generated by the 15 percent retail marijuana excise tax, which flows into the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund.

The 10 percent retail marijuana sales tax brought in $3,547,864, which should make local governments happy. They get 15 percent of the overall amount, adding up to $524,468.

Meanwhile, license and application fee transfers to the marijuana cash fund resulted in another $1,096,793.

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This month is the first when direct year-to-year comparisons can be made — but they won't be especially useful for a while, since there was an excise-tax free period during the first few months of recreational sales owing to the transfer of plants from medical to recreational designations.

More interesting, though, is the question of how much of a marijuana-tax refund will be coming our way. As the AP points out, "Colorado's rising tax revenues are triggering a mandatory refund of the pot taxes, a quirk of constitutional spending limits."

How much of a rebate? The number has been shifting in recent weeks. A February 4 Mashable post estimates the amount at around $30 million. But by the March 2 publication date of this CNN Money item, that figure was up to $59 million.

The pot train just keeps rolling. Here's the aforementioned State of Colorado financial report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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