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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.

Research Review on High-Potency THC by Colorado School of Public Health Finds Lack of Credible Science

MIG Press Release

DATE: Friday, April 21st, 2023
CONTACT: Erin McCann Ciani

Research Review on High-Potency THC by Colorado School of Public Health Finds Lack of Credible Science

Review found existing research limited, but found indications of possible benefits of high-potency products for PTSD, depression

DENVER – This week, The Cannabis Research & Policy Team (CRPT), a group of researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, released the findings of their review of research into the effects of high-potency marijuana and concentrates. This team was tasked with conducting a systematic review of available science on the physical and mental health effects of high-potency marijuana and concentrates by House Bill 21-1317. The researchers found that research on high-concentration cannabis products was very limited and recommended caution when trying to interpret the results of any previous studies. The study also found that while there was some evidence that high-potency products could have adverse effects in individuals with pre-existing conditions like psychosis, there were also studies showing beneficial outcomes for patients with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

“As a mother of three and a Colorado small business owner, I can reiterate that the health and safety of our kids, our consumers and our communities is the cannabis industry’s number one priority,” said Tiffany Goldman, board chair of The Marijuana Industry Group (MIG). “We have always worked with enforcement agencies to create smart, effective regulations based on best practices, that ensure our industry is transparent, accountable and safe. We are also well aware that there are significant gaps in research around high-concentration products, and we have consistently called for improved standards around cannabis research before we can draw conclusions.

“Just like any substance, education and moderation are the keys, and the release of this report is further confirmation that there is not enough credible research around the issue of potency. We should be creating policies based on peer-reviewed, accredited research and best practices, and we should not be looking at any additional regulations on potency levels in cannabis, until we have sound research.

“We should also remember that Coloradans overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis, and support for legalization is now at 70% and increasing across all age brackets, political affiliations and regions of the state. The industry looks forward to reviewing and evaluating future research on this topic and continuing to work with regulators and lawmakers to create policies that keep kids safe and the doors of small businesses open.”

In a comprehensive scoping review, the CRPT screened approximately 66,000 studies and identified 452 studies they found relevant to understanding the health effects of high-concentration cannabis products. The researchers also recommended continuing educational efforts around THC concentration and safe use.

“The conclusions of this report only further support the cannabis industry’s continued calls for expanded education,” said Truman Bradley, Executive Director of The Marijuana Industry Group (MIG). “As our industry has stated since the beginning, there must be an abundance of caution in the interpretation of the evidence, and we need a newfound focus on more relevant and precise research. We have consistently pointed to factors that should be considered in research like experience, tolerance, self-titration, and target of use. We are encouraged to see the Scientific Review Committee underscore these sentiments, and we look forward to working with stakeholders on a more meaningful approach to this important subject moving forward.”


Additional Info

Media Contact : Erin McCann Ciani

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