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Where Does Colorado Cannabis Tax Money Go?

Colorado Cannabis & The Federal Tax Code

MIG's 2023 Bill Tracker is Live

Keep track of the latest at the Colorado state legislature.


Colorado state tax revenue from the legal cannabis industry surpassed $2 billion in January and the state has collected more than $88.7 million in fees.

In addition to state and local taxes and fees, cannabis businesses have an effective federal tax rate of about 70% – compared to about 26% for other businesses. 

Did you know Colorado legal cannabis dispensary owners are unable to deduct normal business expenses like payroll and rent from their federal income taxes?

Marijuana has contributed over $320 Million dollars to Building Excellent Schools Today (B.E.S.T.), making up about 25% of the program's entire budget.

In FY 21-22 alone, nearly $15.3 million in state cannabis dollars went to state Affordable Housing Grant and Loans.

The Marijuana Tax Cash Fund collected $188.8 Million in FY 2021-22 alone.

In FY 21-22 alone, nearly $15 million in cannabis dollars went to the School Health Professional Grant program. 

More than $15 million in cannabis dollars went to substance abuse treatment in FY 21-22.

More than $1.6 million cannabis dollars went to the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program in FY 21-22.

Voters in 59 of 64 Colorado counties voted no on Proposition 119 sending a clear message against raising taxes on cannabis consumers.

Unlike other legalized substances, the marijuana industry has a 97% compliance rate for unauthorized sales.

Unlike alcohol, research has proven you can only get “so high.” Cannabinoid receptors in your brain eventually prevent the body from getting further intoxicated.

Did you know? Since legalization in 2005, teen use in Colorado has remained flat and is below the national average.

According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, more than 90% of Americans think cannabis use should be legal.

Did you know? MIG represents more than 400 cannabis business licenses across the state.

A 2021 study found that medical cannabis use was associated with clinical improvements in pain, function, and quality of life with reductions in prescription drug use. 

Founded in 2010, MIG is the oldest and largest trade association for licensed cannabis businesses.

Colorado’s marijuana model has become the example for all other regulated cannabis states, and MIG works directly with policy makers to ensure that Colorado’s program is fair, tightly regulated, safe, and successful.

Safe Sales: Every marijuana sale in CO takes place on camera and requires multiple ID checks.

All regulated marijuana in Colorado is tracked from “seed to sale,” with oversight from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Established in 2010, MIG has led legislation for child resistant packaging, customer safety resources, and purchase restrictions for 18-20 year olds.

Marijuana is taxed at both state and local levels. This year Aurora built a new $34 Million dollar rec center, fully funded by local marijuana taxes.

The marijuana industry suffers from unfair Federal tax rules, which means that MIG members’ effective tax rates are around 71%.

A 2019 study showed that crime does not increase with legalization.

Conditions for medical marijuana

Cancer - Glaucoma - HIV or AIDS - Cachexia - Persistent muscle spasms - Seizures - Severe nausea - Any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid - Autism Spectrum Disorder - Severe pain - PTSD

Most marijuana businesses have access to banks, but because marijuana is still federally illegal, businesses are unable to access merchant processing services such as VISA or Mastercard.

Consuming higher potency marijuana does not lead to higher levels of impairment.
-- Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 2020

71% of Colorado voters favor marijuana legalization. This has increased 10 points in the last four years alone.

Colorado: Lawmakers pass first ever marijuana industry streamlining bill

MIG Press Release

DATE: 05.08.2024
Truman Bradley

Colorado: Lawmakers pass first ever marijuana industry streamlining bill

The first state to ever regulate marijuana embarks on a much needed regulatory update

DENVER – Today a bipartisan and overwhelming majority of Colorado lawmakers passed SB-076 Streamlining Marijuana Regulation, marking the first time the legislature has eliminated burdensome and unnecessary regulations from Colorado’s marijuana framework. This bill comes a week after the Federal government announced intent to reschedule marijuana from the list of Controlled Substances.

SB-076 updates Colorado law to incorporate changes in Federal law allowing the sale and purchase of marijuana seeds and clones, which don’t contain THC. The bill also removes the prohibition on dispensaries selling (non THC) food and beverages, thereby allowing dispensaries to have the same privileges as liquor stores. Other bill items include eliminating duplicative license renewal requirements and empowering the Marijuana Enforcement Division to modernize its operations.

Over 10 years ago, Colorado led the nation in drafting a regulatory model for legal cannabis. “The initial rules did a great job protecting public safety but after a decade of legal sales, it’s clear the model needs a significant facelift. Big changes often begin with a small first step. SB-076 is an important milestone and something Colorado should build on in rulemaking and in future legislative sessions.” – Truman Bradley, Executive Director Marijuana Industry Group (MIG).

The marijuana industry has grown up in the last 10 years and as the industry changes, it’s important that regulations and regulators change with it. Marijuana businesses have set records for compliance and the initial fears expressed during legalization haven’t materialized.” Ron Kammerzell, Former Director over the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Other states have also begun paring down burdensome marijuana rules.


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