Colorado collects £1.2m in taxes on cannabis

The state collected more than $2m in recreational marijuana sales

Heather Saul
Tuesday 11 March 2014 14:48
Comments
Partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year's Eve party celebrating the start of retail cannabis sales
Partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year's Eve party celebrating the start of retail cannabis sales

Colorado collected almost two million dollars (£1.2 million) in taxes on cannabis in January, the first month where retail sales of the newly legalised drugs were allowed.

The figures indicate that the 59 firms selling the drug made about $14m (£8.4m) in gross sales that month.

Colorado became the first country to legalise cannabis in 2012, but commercial sale did not begin until 1 January 2014.

If medical marijuana stores are included, the state collected $3.5 million (£2.1 million) in taxes, intensifying the debate on how Colorado should spend the money.

In comparison, Colorado made about $2.7 million (£1.6 million) in alcohol excise taxes in January last year.

Last week, Washington DC voted by an overwhelming majority to decriminalise the possession of marijuana and smoking it at home.

Governor John Hickenlooper has sent the legislature a detailed $134 million (£80 million) proposal for recreational and medical marijuana money, including new spending on anti-drug messaging to children and more advertising to discourage driving while high on the drug.

Recently, the US President Barack Obama described cannabis use as "not very different from cigarettes” and no more dangerous than alcohol, while admitting he smoked marijuana when he was younger.

He instructed the Department of Justice to stop prosecuting banks who accepted business from firms selling cannabis. Many shops had been unable to gain access to banking services and have been forced to operate on a cash-only basis, without access to financial services or credit.

Mr Obama’s comments came after New York announced it would join 20 other states, and Washington DC, in permitting the sale, possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in