In November, Loveland voted against allowing medical marijuana dispensaries -- and today's the last day they can legally operate in town. Of the fourteen centers in business late last year, Loveland revenue manager Jim Wedding says seven have already shut down, with the rest presumably following today. How much will this move cost the city?
From the time when the first MMJ dispensaries opened in Loveland, about a year and a half ago, through December, Wedding says around $85,000 in sales tax revenues has been generated. "As a percentage of our overall sales tax, it's less than 1 percent," he notes. "Which is not a lot of money for us in the big scheme of things."
After the vote, Wedding reveals that members of his office "met with each of the individual owners and did audits just to make sure they've been remitting properly, and we found the normal discrepancies. It didn't look like there was intent on anyone's part, just bookkeeping issues like you see in any other audit."
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Then, last week, "we sent out a letter reminding them that today is the deadline. If they intend to stay in business and not sell medical marijuana, they need to contact our office and update the license for their operation. If they're closing, they need to let us know that, too, so we can cancel their tax account. And if they continue to sell medical marijuana past the deadline, it's still taxable, but they'll also be subject to penalties and fines" of up to $1,000 per day/occurrence and a maximum of one year in jail.
Regarding the revenue loss, Wedding asks, "Could we use the $85,000? Yes. Is it going to be the solution to the situations we currently have? No."
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana lawsuit against Westminster could challenge all local dispensary bans."