Marijuana

Ask a Stoner: When Will Legal Pot Tax Us Back to the Black Market?

Ask a Stoner: When Will Legal Pot Tax Us Back to the Black Market?
Westword
Dear Stoner: At what point do we tax legal weed customers back into the black market?
Calling My Dealer

Dear Calling: Voters in most towns and counties actually gave their local governments the okay to raise recreational pot taxes within a certain amount, usually up to 10 percent. Since then, cities like Denver and Aurora have incrementally raised those taxes by 1 or 2 percent to address pressing issues such as affordable housing and mental health.

click to enlarge JACQUELINE COLLINS
Jacqueline Collins
No matter the tax rate, though, the general public may be too far along the legal-buy road to return to the black market. Even if taxes inch up and black market prices go down, an eighth of weed is still the same price — if not cheaper — as it was through a weed dealer in 2014. That’s good enough for most people who don’t smoke every day, and heavy users now find the most reliable concentrates at dispensaries.

We’ve seen high prices hurt legal pot’s earning potential before, but that was at the beginning of recreational sales, when everyone had a weed dealer or knew a basement grower. Coloradans are too fat and happy now, and the current convenience of retail pot will probably keep us that way.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego