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Marijuana: Amendment 64 study authors defend higher revenues than state predicted

marijuana money.jpg
Update:A Colorado Center on Law and Policy study predicting the economic impact of Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, has become a political football for proponents and opponents. Now, CCLP reps are defending the methodology of the report, whose totals differ from those of state officials.

The report, on view below, predicts that revenue generated by Amendment 64 could reach $100 million after 2017. However, Roger Sherman, campaign director for the No on 64 organization Smart Colorado, scoffs at the figure. "It's not a surprise that a report paid for by an out-of-state, pro-legalization organization, the Drug Policy Alliance, overstates the impact of legalizing marijuana for recreational use," he wrote via e-mail. "This report triples the estimate from the state's unbiased, non-partisan Office of Legislative Council in the Blue Book."

colorado center for law and policy graphic.jpg
A graphic from the Colorado Center for Law and Policy website.
In responding, CCLP communications director Terry Scanlon stresses "that we have tremendous respect for the Legislative Council staff. We look at their work all the time and hold it in the highest regard."

However, he goes on, "we have some different factors than they do. We look at the state sales tax revenue, local sales tax revenue and the excise tax revenue, because Amendment 64 calls for an excise tax on marijuana."

chris stiffler.JPG
Chris Stiffler.
Adds Chris Stiffler, a CCLP economist: "There's uncertainly what percent the excise tax will be, but up until 2017, it can be as high as 15 percent, so we ran the numbers at 15 percent," due in part to the presumption that legislators would likely approve the maximum, as they tend to do when it comes to so-called "sin tax" items like cigarettes.

The excise tax was key to consider, Stiff goes on, because "the majority of that money is allocated to the BEST program for more school construction." Hence, voters will presumably be interested in the amount of money Amendment 64 might generate for this cause, event though the question goes beyond the Legislative Council's mandate to calculate only how much the state would collect in sales tax revenues.

That wasn't the only difference between the state's findings and CCLP's. As Scanlon points out, "the Legislative Council assumes a higher per-ounce sale price after Amendment 64 is passed" -- a figure that would translate to more revenues that the study predicts.

And when it comes to state sales-tax revenues, the state's data is in the same ballpark as that put forward in the study, Stiffler notes. "They gave a range of $4 million to $22 million depending on different scenarios -- and our state sales-tax revenue was about $8.7 million."

terry scanlon.jpg
Terry Scanlon.
In defending the study as a whole, Scanlon says, "a good portion of the work we do is state tax and fiscal-budget work. So it's important to us that public-policy discussions are informed by credible independent research." When the Drug Policy Alliance "reached out to us for help, we agreed because we believe decision-makers on public-policy matters, whether voters or legislators, are better served when they're informed with credible data. And our analysis is a similar approach to what the Legislative Council took, although we include more factors. And our numbers are not inflated.

"I think someone used the term 'rosy'" when it came to the study's predictions, Scanlon goes on. "But the Drug Policy Alliance didn't have any influence over the findings of this report, and we didn't produce numbers we thought would please the campaign or that would improve their chances this fall. We produced a report that we believe provides the public with independent, credible analysis about what Amendment 64 would mean on the revenue side."

Continue reading our previous coverage of the controversial Amendment 64 study.



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154 comments
mallison2340
mallison2340

Does anybody know exactly who will benefit from the tax revenue generated by marijuana sales? In particular, will localities that declined to allow sales share in this benefit even if they did not contribute to it?

tribune420
tribune420

IF the no side can't admit that marijuana is safer than alcohol; and that the desire to alter conscienceless is a fundamental human trait, they don't have a logical dog in this fight. 

Its like a yappy dog that can't admit that they are annoying. 

 

imahead
imahead

if anything is 100% bullshit it is you DonkeyHotay!

 

you sling hate and call names.  GROW up. or shut up.

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The "study" is 100% BULLSHIT!

 

It's based upon a giant LIE ... the LIE that ALL QUANTITIES of Marijuana would be 100% LEGAL for ALL USERS - GROWERS - DEALERS.

 

A64 does NOT Legalize marijuana -- not even close.

 

Anon
Anon

Donkey is now using my screen name to troll. It is unfortunate that this board does not have a moderator to curb the threats and profanity.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

I am used to being ignored -- do I have to get out my bullhorn?  The essence of the fault in the report is that it ignores the impracticality of selling cannabis to any adult who wants it given present Federal law and enforcement policy.  There will be no tax revenue from sales which do not take place.  Because the issuance of a State license to sell cannabis to adults would only happen after passage of enabling legislation by the General Assembly, passage of enabling regulations by the DOR, and local approval, the Feds would be abundantly well apprised of who wants to sell cannabis where and when, and easily able to stop such sales were licenses actually issued, but the impossibility of proceeding in the face of Federal threats would very likely derail the process well before that point.

 

The benefit of providing for retail sales of cannabis to all adults is symbolic and political, not fiscal -- how is it that you chose not to raise the issue with Mason?  The report's mistake is not to couch its conclusions in the subjunctive:  Colorado WOULD realize substantial revenue IF Federal policy were to change.  It would only enhance the effect of the report were it to acknowledge that should Amendment 64 pass, Federal policy would for the time being thwart the collection of $48 million dollars or more in tax revenues for the State.  Fudging this issue is shortsighted on the part of proponents; it diminishes the impact of the report and it unnecessarily opens up the campaign to charges of misrepresentation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Tvert is a proven LIAR, he has ZERO credibility.

 

The "study" is 100% bullshit, since it FALSELY presupposes that all marijuana, use, possession, cultivation and sales would be completely legalized.

 

A64 does NOT legalize marijuana -- A64 continues 99.9% of existing CRIMINAL PROHIBITIONS against marijuana.

 

The absurdly minuscule limits of 1 ounce and 3 flowering plants, and only for those over 21, and not allowing any private sales, will have ZERO effect upon any real-world arrests since the average user/grower far exceeds those limits.

 

Tvert, Vicente and Aldworth are DEMONSTRABLE LIARS and should be held accountable for their willful DECEPTIONS and FRAUD.

 

 

 

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

I am used to being ignored -- do I have to get out my bullhorn?  The essence of the fault in the report is that it ignores the impracticality of selling cannabis to any adult who wants it given present Federal law and enforcement policy.  There will be no tax revenue from sales which do not take place.  Because the issuance of a State license to sell cannabis to adults would only happen after passage of enabling legislation by the General Assembly, passage of enabling regulations by the DOR, and local approval, the Feds would be abundantly well apprised of who wants to sell cannabis where and when, and easily able to stop such sales were licenses actually issued, but the impossibility of proceeding in the face of Federal threats would very likely derail the process well before that point.

 

The benefit of providing for retail sales of cannais to all adults is symbolic and political, not fiscal -- how is it that you chose not to raise the issue with Mason?  The report's mistake is not to couch its conclusions in the subjunctive:  Colorado WOULD realize substantial revenue IF Federal policy were to change.  It would only enhance the effect of the report were it to acknowledge that should Amendment 64 pass, Federal policy would for the time being thwart the collection of $48 million dollars or more in tax revenues for the State.  Fudging this issue is shortsighted on the part of proponents; it diminishes the impact of the report and it unnecessarily opens up the campaign to charges of misrepresentation.

Monkey
Monkey

Drug cartels or massive tax revenue? I say bullshit on both. With the lack of efficiency from the MMCED, many MMCs are buying from the black market again to stock their shelf, not from the "cartels", Colorado homegrown, like before 1284/1043. Taxes and regulations generate more fraud than revenue. If you want to end the cannabis black market, legalize it, un-taxed and un-regulated, then the black market will be lawful, spending the money and helping our economy. If you want to stimulate the black market, tax and regulate it, and spend the tax revenue to enforce the regulations and tax code, while they slide it out the back door. Either way, Colorado will not get rich or be overrun by "cartels". A64 passing or failing is meaningless when it comes to saving the economy or destroying cartels. Go to a doctor and forget about this stupid political non-sense.

anon
anon

Art Way can answer these claims, but he can't tell us ONE person of the supposed 10,000 people that they claim willl be saved from jail by Am. 64 every year.

jewels
jewels

What about the individuals who grow it home?

How is the state going to tax them?  How is the

state going to find them?

 

It would seem that most people would do this rather than go to dispensaries,

which would net the state nothing.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @tribune420 Quite the image, Tribune. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

DonkeyDealsDope
DonkeyDealsDope

 @DonkeyHotay  You could read Amendment, or you can listen to this rambling idiot.  He sells drugs, so he stands to lose if A64 passes. 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @Anon 

You are full of shit !

Donkey doesn't hide 

from ANYONE !!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Anon = another pathetic liar.

 

I use one name and one name only, you shitsucking loser.

 

HipTip -- pick a REAL name other than a generic douche-cover like "Anon".

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase " There will be no tax revenue from sales which do not take place."

 

Welcome back to reality and honesty, Robert.

 

 

Anon
Anon

 @Monkey  I disagree that going to a MMJ doctor and lying about your ailments is any kind of solution. You are suggesting that people cheat the system, rather than work towards the end of prohibition.  The rest of your statements are more conspiracy, not any kind of serious solution. If you are not a dealer, then you should be happy that the price will drop dramatically. The only people who need to worry are the people trying to make money from the black market. That is the real reason you do not want it to pass, isn't it? 

A64 will reduce the price from $400 per ounce on the street retail, to less than $150.  That in itself will end the black market. It will no longer be worth it to run a black market business. The profit margin for the black market will be crushed overnight. That is why you do not like the bill, isn't it? I question your motives. 

There is absolutely no reason you should be fighting against A64, unless you are a dealer. If you are a dealer, it will be great to see you put out of business. 

 

To make clear, I am not the person below who posted under the name Anon. I think Donkey is trolling by using my screen name. I guess I should change it.   To make the process clear, there are thousands of people every year who get caught with less than 1 ounce. They do not just get a ticket, and are let free. They have to go to court. It is a tedious process that cost hard working folks days of work and cost the courts the time to deal with each case. 

A64 will make it legal for adults 21 and up to possess 1 full ounce, and/or 6 plants. The current system sends everyone to court, the system after A64 will free up the court, and the cops, to fight real crime.  That in itself will save Colorado millions of dollars. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @anon 

 

A64 pimps are PROVEN LIARS.

 

A64 = a laughable fraud that will NOT legalize marijuana.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @jewels Under Amendment 64, adults can grow up to six cannabis plants at home -- it levies no tax on them or their cannabis and simply declares it "not unlawful" to grow at home in accordance with its provisions.  The State would not be trying to find them, just a few rogue local cops, and after enough lawsuits, they should stop too.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @jewels  Bingo!

 

But as Brian Vicente confesses last week, he supports the CRIMINAL PROSECUTION of Marijuana Users/Growers who dare exceed the minuscule limits that he personally deems sufficient -- sufficiently small to FORCE marijuana users to overpay for commercial retail pot controlled and taxes by the State.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @DonkeyDealsDope What dope dealer only sells 1 (one) ounce or less, to only those 21 or older ?

 

You stammering stooge.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @Won_Leg What are you talking about?  He is one of the determinedly anonymous posters on this blog -- that is requisite to act as a surrepittous agent for the police; besides, the Hell's Angels want to kick his ass!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @DonkeyHotay 

I only use juan name as well.

Having more than won is pure chicken-shit.

I'm beginning 2 learn that people w/ too legs,

aren't two bright themselves.

Monkey
Monkey

 @Anon I don't believe you. Your predictions of the future are based on your opinion, and you don't understand the world around you. The black market is not an entity, it is a market of people who buy and sell undocumented goods. Both the regulated and un-regulated use the black market, there is no competition, they work together, and cannot survive without each other. Hows this for a solution: All laws in Colorado related to cannabis no longer apply and shall be removed. The smell or sight of cannabis will no longer be considered probable cause to search or detain anyone in Colorado. Cannabis, or any extraction from cannabis, shall be lawful in the State of Colorado. That's something I would vote for, and only that would end the black market, all the rest is political bullshit that is designed to deceive. I don't believe anyone who goes to a doctor is cheating the system, using something to feel better is medicinal, no need to lie. I don't think recreational weed exists, even when I use it during a recreational activity.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Anon = the drooling retard who asserts there is no black market in Tobacco or Alcohol.

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase Keep lying, you lowlife liar.

 

A64 does NOT ALLOW TENS of THOUSANDS of ADULTS age 18 > 21 to grow ANY plants ... not even a SINGLE ONE!

 

Your credibility = ZERO

anon
anon

 @DonkeyHotay Certainly, Don, any home growers will be required to become part of the state NON-CONFIDENTIAL REGISTRY that A64 allows the trustworthy people at the DOR to set up. The DOR will of course have to inspect your grow too in order for it to be "LEGAL". Maybe Brian Vicente wants to inspect your house personally?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @IcePick  @RobertChase 

I also tend to "follow" Chase, Who, Monkey, in addition to three WW writers I read religiously.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase= a proven LIAR with ZERO credibility

 

You've destroyed and ruined your own reputation by playing the fool for the lying liars promoting A64 for their own financial gain.

 

So sad.

 

And now your only circle-jerk buddies are the drooling intellectual retards IcePick and Anon ... congratulations, you DESERVE them as compatriots.

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay I tend to think to think of you as being like a small, but loud and highly agitated dog but if the prohibitionists are paying you, you are more like the hemophagous flea.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@cashed

 

Surrender Early, Surrender Often -- It's the Slackers' Credo!

 

Resistance is Futile -- You Will Be Assimilated!

 

Bück Dich !

 

cashed
cashed

 @DonkeyHotay

**** Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano! ****

Donkey, lol, sure, that's gonna happen.  Everything is regulated, get used to it.  Your dream of a direct transition of mj from prohibited to unregulated is, well, unrealistic.   

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey  @Anon 

 

" All laws in Colorado related to cannabis no longer apply and shall be removed." = True Legalization!

 

**** Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano! ****

.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase  

 

************************************************************

"Amendment 64 would not stop unjust imprisonment for cannabis, legalize cannabis, or regulate it like alcohol."

-- Robert Chase

************************************************************

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay HB10-1284 is unconstitutional; more to the point, HB10-1284 was not part of Amendment 20, was not a necessary consequence of Amendment 20, and it is not in the Constitution; the People should assign all responsibility for medical cannabis to the CDPHE in unequivocal language that invalidates HB10-1284 if the courts do not -- right after we pass Amendment 64!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @anon It's you who need to learn to read, and think!  You think that it is appropriate to accuse Amendment 64 of doing what totally unrelated and  not even proposed laws and regulations might -- you are a liar!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase Do tell, where in A20 is there "a single word" about limiting the number of patients a single caregiver can provide for?

 

You daft dipshit.

anon
anon

 @RobertChase There's not a single thing PREVENTING it, and since A64 trusts the DOR so much, why do you assume that the DOR is all of a sudden going to change their tune? A64 was modeled after the mmj laws in Colorado, and A64 does not stop the creation of a registry. READ THE LAW, dumbshit

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @anon  @DonkeyHotay More bullshit -- how can people who can write, and want to write about Amendment 64 fail to read it?  There is not a single word in the Amendment authorizing the creation of a registry of citizens who grow their own cannabis.  You either have no idea what you are talking about or you are another liar!

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