Marijuana — A boon for Colorado State Government?

Sparta Report | 2/17/2019 | Mark Rosneck
jolan (Posted by) Level 3
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Is marijuana a boon for the state coffers of Colorado? Well of course it is! We were told that it was the answer to all our financial worries. But is it? Let’s see.

Colorado collects a 15% excise tax on the wholesale product and a total of 17.2% on retail sales. Sales of pot in 2018 were $1,545,691,080 with the resulting tax revenue of $266 million and change.

Budget - State - Colorado - Billion - Sales

The total budget for the State of Colorado is $28.9 Billion meaning marijuana sales account for about 0.9%. Well that doesn’t seem like it makes much of a dent.

The money is split three different ways to ensure that it benefited “the children.”

Marijuana - Tax - Revenue - Colorado - Department

In 2017-18, the total marijuana tax revenue for Colorado Department of Education was $90.3 million. However, to put that into perspective, the marijuana tax revenue from 2017-18 was roughly 1.6% of the state’s K-12 education budget of $5.6 billion, which encompasses the budget of Colorado Department of Education, the Charter School Institute and The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind.

Anyone sensing a scam yet?

Look - Sales

Let’s take a look at a marijuana sales chart:

The first thing one notices is that medical marijuana sales are on a steady decline. While I’ll grant that there are valid medicinal applications for all drugs including rat poison [Note 1], it seems clear that people really just wanted to get high. I am shocked and stunned.

Thing - Notices - Sales - Growth - Rate

The next thing one notices is that marijuana sales are leveling off. The overall growth rate was something like 7% last year in a roaring economy where people have more disposable income than...
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