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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.

Zayo Group exec tapped to head Colorado's largest marijuana trade group

MIG In The News

Zayo Group exec tapped to head Colorado's largest marijuana trade group

Marijuana Industry Group has finalized its search for a new executive director, announcing Wednesday that Zayo Group Director of Product Truman Bradley will step into the role.

MIG, founded in 2010, touts itself in press material as "the leading trade association for Colorado's licensed [cannabis] business," and its influence is proven in the fact that the legal recreational cannabis industry exists in its current form. It was instrumental in shaping the 2013 legislation that built the laws, rules, regulations and taxes that now govern the billion-dollar industry after voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012.

It has successfully lobbied to have bills that would hurt the industry killed, and its work in last year's legislative session helped usher in new rules that will open up the marketplace to outside investment, allow marijuana delivery and create "hospitality establishments" where the plant can legally be consumed.

“I am so excited to lead Colorado’s largest and oldest cannabis trade association as we partner with stakeholders including medical patients, neighborhood associations, state and local governments and the business community to ensure that Colorado continues to serve as a model for marijuana regulation, at both the state and local level, for other jurisdictions across the country as well as internationally," Bradley said in a statement released today.

Bradley will officially start in the role on Feb. 17, said Ron Kammerzell, MIG's current interim executive director, who runs his own business, Kammerzell Consulting Services, and served as senior director of enforcement at Colorado's Department of Revenue, which oversees the industry, from 2012 to 2017.

Kammerzell confirmed to Denver Business Journal that Bradley currently works at Zayo Group (NYSE: ZAYO), a Boulder-based communications firm, and that the executive director position at MIG is a full-time role. Bradley was not immediately made available for comment.

Bradley is also a cannabis entrepreneur: He founded Denver-based vertically integrated cannabis company Seed & Smith in 2015, and Kaya Cannabis in 2010, according to his LinkedIn page. He earned his MBA from University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business at night while growing those businesses, the statement said, and has served as MIG's co-vice chair and on its Denver subcommittee.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of our extensive search for a new executive director for the MIG. Truman is uniquely qualified to lead our organization and has a demonstrated passion for this industry, having been involved in the regulated marijuana industry in Colorado for more than 10 years," said Dean Heizer, MIG's board chair, who also serves as Denver cannabis company LivWell's executive director and chief legal strategist.

MIG's longtime executive director Kristi Kelly departed in October 2019, and former head of the Colorado Brewers Guild, John Carlson, was named in November to replace her. That didn't work out for unspecified reasons and Kammerzell stepped in to fill the role temporarily. Kammerzell will transition into an advisory role on regulatory matters, the release said.

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