Marijuana taxes over 30 percent to start and other highlights from (almost) final pot bills

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The THC-driving-limits bill, which could have a devastating impact on medical marijuana patients like William Breathes, our pot critic, was only one of several huge cannabis-related bills that passed yesterday. The measures still must go through a procedure or two today, the last of the legislative session, but they're thought to be more or less in their final versions. So we asked marijuana attorney and activist Warren Edson for bullet-point takes on the legislation's lingo for everything from taxes to treating weed mags like porn.

TAXES:

As part of House Bill 13-1318, the latest version of which is featured below, the legislature approved a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana, as well as a 10 percent sales tax "that they can adjust up to 15 percent," Edson says. "It talks about how the sales tax starts at 10 percent, but it can be cranked up to 15 percent with a vote of the legislature and the signature of the governor."

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This approach appears to have been put in place to avoid another trip to the polls. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, requires that voters approve all taxes, so a ballot measure to okay the numbers above will be on the ballot in November. But if the bill had simply set the taxes at 10 percent and the legislature subsequently decided an increase to 15 percent was necessary, the matter would otherwise have had to wait for the next election.

This work-around is the kind of thing to which Douglas Bruce, the father of the TABOR legislation, might see as violating the spirit of the law. It'll be interesting to see how he responds after it's signed into law.

In the meantime, Edson notes that local sales taxes will also apply to marijuana -- amounts that are typically in the 6-8 percent range. Thus, even if the 10 percent sales tax sticks, "you're overall going to end up with a tax somewhere between $32 and $35 dollars on every $100 purchase. That's a whole lot of money that gives the black market a whole lot of wiggle room."

• MAGAZINES AND ADVERTISING:

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The final version of House Bill 13-1317, the main regulatory proposal, hasn't been published online at this writing. But Edson says restrictions requiring that marijuana magazines be displayed behind the counter, like porn rags, at general-interest outlets remain in the final bill, despite statements by an attorney for High Times that the publication will likely sue over the provision.

The matter "was pretty heavily discussed yesterday," Edson notes. "One person who spoke held up a High Times and another magazine and talked about how they teach people to grow and use illegal drugs. He kept referring to it as illegal drugs, which they are federally, and asking, 'Do you want your kids subjected to this kind of filth?'

"There was also mention of constitutional rights, meaning free speech, but they passed the sucker anyhow."

As such, Edson says, "I think we'll see some challenges the second the governor signs it -- especially to those parts relating to advertising and magazine display and sales."

Continue for more about the (probably) final marijuana bills.


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202 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

A64 ... requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; 

Tax the FUCK out of it !! ... The PEOPLE have SPOKEN !!


BuddJones
BuddJones

In the end if you shop wisely and buy in small increments until you are certain you have the best strain for your needs then you should be ok. A sixteenth or eight may cost more because Denver dispensaries sell a lot of small amounts at a higher rate to keep the doors open. Sampling at least three strains from each dispensary will immediately show you the vast difference of each cannabis even at the same location.

Before too long you will have collected a small collection of a variety of Medical Marijuana strains which over time will allow you to sample each at various times of the day or under different circumstances. This is when you will truly be able to experience the specific effects of any strain when compared to many others. Once you have your choices selected then it is time to shop for volume and to collect coupons, ask for discounts, drive hard bargins, and stock up with the perfect cannabis for you for the next six months. This is living the 420 Life

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

How much is RTD charging for monthly passes these days ?

Don't think they WON'T take FULL advantage of this catastrophe !

BuddJones
BuddJones

I've not tried it in 30 years. I didn't like it at the time, mostly because it made me tired. Now, that doesn't sound like such a bad thing.

sucka1
sucka1

Who cares?  WE LEGALIZED MARIJUANA!  Let the wallet raping begin!

BuddJones
BuddJones

Selling Pot or Weed does not require much thought. Properly servicing your MMJ patient does. MMJ sales can be substantially increased with a little Sales Training and the development of listening skills. Too often a Budtender is obvious when pushing low grade medicine or rushing one patient while another is waiting in line to be served

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

I'll vote for them...if it's also applied to alcohol.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

"WE WON !!!!"

Cried the idiot !

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

A NO Vote for this 25% tax is a vote for dignity and self respect, Colorado! You will be giving your money to a bunch of agencies that regard you as 'cattle'. You are viewed as a revenue stream and your legislators treat you as such. Have some respect for yourselves! Keep your one ounce and grow your 6 plants. Your legislators feel that your body is trash that can be poked and prodded on the side of the road by known psychopaths. Get your red card and vote these clowns out.....

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

With liquor ads on billboards and local papers, including depictions of the product, the pot-as-porn angle is nothing like the voters approved, and I hope the law gets tied up in court for years. Of course, the pot activists against A64 were right that there wasn't a chance in hell this would result in pot being anywhere close to as legal as alcohol. This would include the illegality of the pot equivalent of "bars," and various other aspects.

I continue to grow my own.

Green_eyes
Green_eyes

There are always going to be people selling MJ at a tax free rate...... And there are always going to be people buying MJ no matter what the tax rate may be........

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Adjust the "sales tax" to zero by voting no. The People did not vote for that.

Green_eyes
Green_eyes

There will always be someone out there selling MJ at a tax free rate..... And there are always going to be customers buying no matter what the tax rate may be....

Che Harness
Che Harness

True, and I do. But that doesn't negate the criminal behavior of our legislatures. "An injustice allowed to happen anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

Che Harness
Che Harness

Yes. The standard sales tax has been considered good enough to regulate our other business' until now, then it must be good enough for marijuana. We don't need an extra sales tax and an excise tax pushing the price up another 25-30% just to punish people that are still considered criminals in the eyes of state officials.

David Kotzebue
David Kotzebue

A friend has to smoke it daily for lupus symptoms. Why add to her burdens

BuddJones
BuddJones

@Josh BradleyWhat do you do with the info collected by new Medical Marijuana patients that are looking for Top Shelf Premium Sativas but do not care for Hash, Indicas or anything else. You toss it and do nothing with it. It is forgotten and that patient will go anywhere they can get a better deal next time.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Josh Bradley 

HipTip: Pot ain't Alcohol


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@kasa.god "would I be able to sue the state for making the cannabis in my body illegal?"

... suuuure .... the McShysters who wrote and promoted A64 would no doubt take your $$ ... case ... to court.



BuddJones
BuddJones

@betweenthelinesThis highly industrial area is perfect for non-residential traffic although the per capita income leaves much to be desired. Serious efforts will have to be made to attract MMJ patients from other areas of the city. Low Ball eights & ounces plus creative over the counter add-on selling will help.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines "A NO Vote for this 25% tax is a vote for dignity and self respect, Colorado! "

And proof that Stoners were LYING when they promised and promoted Legalized and TAXED marijuana would be a Financial Windfall for the State Treasury.

A64 baited the electorate with $40,000,000.00 in ANNUAL revenue from Pot Taxes ... it's time to Put Up and PAY UP, stoners!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "Of course, the pot activists against A64 were right that there wasn't a chance in hell this would result in pot being anywhere close to as legal as alcohol"

But ... lying Brain Vicente, mendacious Mason Tvert and Westweed told the ignorant bong-suckers that A64 was "legalization" ... and "LIKE Alcohol" ... so who really expected the puerile pot punks to READ, much less comprehend what A64 actually proposed?

A Democracy GETS the LAWS and Government it DESERVES!


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Green_eyes They're trying to guarantee a healthy black market, which they will point to in order to claim that de-prohibition doesn't work.

ray011
ray011

@Che Harness"The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Che Harness Strong argument, Che. Thanks for posting.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@David Kotzebue In theory, she could get a red card, which would be cheaper. Part of the plan of the outrageous tax attack might be to pay off the previous cash cows--the dispensaries.

BuddJones
BuddJones

@DonkeyHotay@kasa.godIf you have not already one day soon you will have that pretty Budtender of yours sending out emails, tweets, and surfing the Internet making friends & attracting patients into your dispensary. Put that Chick to work, put her on the phone, and she can paint her nails when she gets home.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay @betweenthelines I see an increase in red card applications and a slow death to an industry that will never be able to compete...I'm gonna pour out a little liquor for A64 right now.....Only a SUCKER would vote to pay for that...Hope you have big veins.... :)

sucka1
sucka1

@DonkeyHotay@Cognitive_Dissident  "A64 maintains that ALL PRIVATE SALES are still FELONIES."  It's completely legal to commit felonies in the U$A!  HTH!

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay

"The People" DID Vote for a $40,000,000.00 annual EXCISE TAX on Marijuana.

HipTip: your distortions =/= reality

Green_eyes
Green_eyes

I'm sure there will always be a black market when it comes to MJ...... Personally, I think when it comes to MJ things were much simpler when it was illegal....

JimTom
JimTom

@Cognitive_Dissident the whole thing has been controlled by the MMJ mafia, why do you think they are the only ones that can sell for 3 years? It is a joke just like MMJ is, I have lots of cronic pain, pot doesn't relieve any of it. I will continue to sell to the same people I have for 20 years. Tax FREE.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@kasa.god ... you think "Brain" [sic] works for free?

He got paid $10s of THOUSANDS to create the clusterfuck known as A64 ... now he's getting paid $10s of THOUSANDS to attempt to FIX the clusterfuck he created ... even taking $$ from the GOVERNMENT to IMPLEMENT A64 REGULATIONS AGAINST marijuana users and growers in Colorado.

WIN WIN WIN for the Mendacious Marijuana McShysters !!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@betweenthelines = too stupid to realize that the DUI-m regulations will now become LAW whether the tax proposals pass in November or not.

Keep your veins ready, sucker ... no "red card" will save you.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident = idiot thinks receiving currency -- digital or otherwise -- doesn't meet the legal definition of selling.

You = nominated for this week's Chris Bartkowicz Award


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1

... requiring the general assembly to enact an excise tax to be levied upon wholesale sales of marijuana; requiring that the first $40 million in revenue raised annually by such tax be credited to the public school capital construction assistance fund; ...


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... standard Sales Tax is ~8% in Colorado cities, which applies to pot by default. Plus the 15% and increasing Excise Tax that A64 MANDATED puts the Voter APPROVED MINIMUM at 23% as a baseline.

The voters may approve an additional sales tax of 7% ... which doesn't seem like much especially to the 45% of Voters who were AGAINST A64 in the first place, plus a large portion of voters who supported A64 BECAUSE it promised much needed Tax Revenue to the State in exchange for "legalizing" dope for stoners.


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