Colorado reports a cool $3.5 million in tax revenues from the sale of marijuana in January. USA Today reported that the total comes from both medical marijuana and retail pot, with the recreational variety garnering the larger share at $2 million. No surprise there.
Big tax revenues are expected to accrue for Colorado. Consumers pay a special 10% sales tax in addition to the standing 2.9% Colorado sales tax on their pot purchases. The producers bear a 15% tax burden, which they have undoubtedly passed on their buyers.
The state is the biggest beneficiary of smokey pleasures by collecting more tax revenue than was expected in the first month alone of legalized sales. While subsequent monthly sales are expected to decline, the state legislature has the option to raise the special sales tax by another 15%. The usurious tax rates don’t appear to bother the buyers nor curb demand.
The state gained fame as the first to allow the legal sale of recreational pot starting on January 1, 2014. Washington is the only other state to legalize sales, but that begins later this year in summer. California can’t be far behind in recognizing a potential windfall for the financially bereft state. It is sure to follow in the footsteps of the Rocky Mountain high, where money grows less on trees than it does on a pot plant.