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Where Does Colorado Cannabis Tax Money Go?

Colorado Cannabis & The Federal Tax Code

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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.

MIG Congratulates Recipients of $750,000 from the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant Program

MIG Press Release


DATE: Thursday March 16, 2023

CONTACT: Erin McCann Ciani

MIG Congratulates Recipients of $750,000 from the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant Program 

Four recipients of the program, designed to increase diversity and growth in the industry, graduated from MIG’s Social Equity Mentorship Program

Denver, CO – The Marijuana Industry Group is congratulating the 27 Colorado cannabis small business owners that received $750,000 in Cannabis Business Pilot Grants from the state’s Cannabis Business Office. The pilot program, first launched in 2021, provides support for social equity cannabis small business owners in the state to increase diversity in the industry and bolster growth. MIG fought for passage of SB 21-111, the legislation that created the grant program, and to increase its initial funding amount from $150,000 to $4 million. Four of this year’s grant recipients were also graduates of MIG’s Social Equity Mentorship Program. This free 6-month program pairs social equity licensees with seasoned cannabis business executives.

“We are thrilled to see this grant money go out to such talented recipients who will help us continue to grow and foster diversity in Colorado’s legal cannabis industry,” said Tiffany Goldman, MIG board chair. “MIG is committed to increasing diversity and equity within Colorado’s legal cannabis industry, and we are willing to put our money where our mouth is, including providing a free mentorship program, supporting past bills that increase equity in the industry, and offering free and discounted dues to social equity business owners working to get established. There is still so much more to do and so much we can accomplish to increase opportunities for diverse business owners if we work together on effective policies that will also strengthen the industry overall.”

Colorado’s cannabis industry is seeing a historic decline in sales and faces serious challenges in the face of increasing taxes, shifting regulations, and an inability to access capital and grant funding available for other Colorado small businesses. These grants provide helpful resources for new social equity entrepreneurs looking to enter the market, but there is still more financial support needed to ensure the industry can continue to grow and become more diverse.

You can learn more about the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant Program here. The full list of recipients is below:


Foundational Grants: $25,000

  • Apex Herbology
  • Better Days Delivery
  • Bachaz
  • Best Invest
  • Blaze To Go Delivery Service
  • Denver’s Premier Social Club
  • Doobrr
  • Dreamy Illusions
  • Egozi
  • Gogi Cannabis Delivery
  • Grassberries
  • Green Remedy
  • Growzillas5280
  • Highly Positive Cannabis
  • Jungle Feva
  • Kilo Enterprises
  • Kushgo Delivery
  • Leafbase
  • Middle Man
  • Piedmont Pressure
  • Potstar
  • Queen Mary
  • Snooty Foxx
  • Yuma

Growth Grants: $50,000

  • Denver Kush Club
  • Kaylx Brands (dba Millie’s)
  • Puff, Pass and Paint


Additional Info

Media Contact : Erin McCann Ciani

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