Marijuana: Could taxes on recreational pot in Boulder be as high as 50 percent?

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If you didn't think an excise tax of 15 percent and a 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana was enough, consider moving to Boulder. The Boulder City Council is considering adding a measure to the ballot in November to create local taxes of up to another 15 percent excise tax and 10 percent sales tax.

The proposed rate is a ceiling and the council would have the power to set the tax lower. But if state and city tax measures pass, Boulderites could be looking at paying up to 50 percent taxes on pot.

According to marijuana industry consultant Shawn Coleman, the proposal has backing both from the city and Boulder's abuse and treatment community.

"One of the concerns Boulder has always had is, they want the industry funding itself," Coleman says. "And with the passing of Amendment 64, they thought, 'Would this now be an opportunity to tax all the facilities in the industry?'"

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Shawn Coleman
Retail pot certainly offers opportunities for increased revenue. Unlike medical marijuana sales, recreational marijuana sales will be taxable, and an excise tax would allow the city to collect from cultivation centers without retail fronts in Boulder. This tax is something Coleman says the marijuana industry supports, but not at such a high rate or in tandem with a big local sales tax.

"We're going to need to see a rate at the 5 percent range," Coleman says. "Or the result is Boulder businesses either remain medical facilities or leave the city. That would leave Boulder adult consumers with only the black market in Boulder, which is what we were trying to get away from with the passage of Amendment 64."

The projected revenue estimate from the taxes was very conservative, Coleman says. The city was looking at increases that were less than double of the amount brought in last year from MMJ dispensaries -- around $1 million. And considering the significant increase in the amount of people that will be allowed to purchase marijuana under A64, even doubling last year's MMJ total might be too low a guess.

Meanwhile, members of Boulder's abuse and treatment community advocate for the creation of a marijuana-related educational program -- one that would inform adults about managing cannabis use even as it would discourage drug use among children.

"From the perspective of the Boulder industry, we think some education is necessary," Coleman says. "So people will have a good experience with cannabis rather than a negative one from their lack of experience."

The council didn't actually vote on the tax proposal during the most recent meeting, on Tuesday night. However, members gave city staffers direction to draft the measures and left with a potential date of July 16 for a first reading.

"In defense of the council, I think some of this is a learning curve," Coleman says. "When they see how the state taxes are going to be implemented and what other cities are doing, I think they will reconsider."

Denver is set to discuss its own potential tax on Monday.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana revenues in Colorado for 2012: $199 million-plus."

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47 comments
whosdp
whosdp

Local governments attempting to cash in BIG on marijuana sales taxes are smoking too much weed.  If Boulder taxes it by anywhere NEAR 50%, the folks in Louisville or somewhere else close-by, will reap higher revenues by assessing a lower tax on sales, there.  

Heavy-handed sales tax structures will also encourage truly homegrown operations and, of course, black marketers.  This goose could lay golden eggs for ALL of Colorado, if taxed the same as all other goods sold here.  Increased tourism, employment, and SALES of Colorado sourced goods all spell better economic times.

As more and more States legalize recreational use of marijuana, we'll be in an excellent position for interstate sales.  What could derail all of this growth?  Penalizing local producers and retailers by overtaxing and over-regulating their industry.

Why is it, that some people think the ''cure'' to everything is raising taxes?


Jay Jurgens
Jay Jurgens

and the assistant da says the mmj industry is a farce last night on the news in regards to people that just got busted

Chelly Serna
Chelly Serna

They're probably banking on ignorant rich kids from CSU being able to pay those prices.

Chad Hill
Chad Hill

Are taxes on alcohol as high as 50 percent?

Monkey
Monkey

This can't be surprising to anyone. Every City that allows weed stores will want to tax it locally. I wouldn't be surprised if Cities only allow new businesses if there is additional local taxes.

Sean Bracken
Sean Bracken

Now that's nuts. What a way for Boulder to promote a black market.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Uh, consider purchasing in Denver instead .......?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Boulder is extremely weird.  On the one hand, it bucks corporate capitalism by buying out Xcel, on the other it arrests a speaker before the Boulder City Council, and the university located there strains to stifle dissent and has closed the campus to the public repeatedly for the purpose.  There is no conceivable justification for any of the excessive taxes Colorado (never mind Boulder) plan to levy on cannabis:  the State will save money by not wasting quite so many resources persecuting those who choose to use cannabis.  Voters authorized the General Assembly to ask the voters for up to a 15% excise tax, but the greedy swine are ignoring the Constitution by sending a measure imposing a 10% sales tax surcharge in addition.  The voters deserve the chance to vote on the tax they authorized, but the GA has thumbed its nose at the people it is supposed to represent once again.  I urge every Coloradan to vote against the illegal referred initiative to tax cannabis, which does not comport with the the Constitution -- let the bastards ask for the excise tax again, by itself, next year!

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

Taxes for marijuana purchases should be every bit as high as they are for cigarette purchases.  Both activities put the same strain on our healthcare system.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

          *** Regulation Works! ***

... get REGULATED, bitches! ... YOU VOTED FOR IT!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jay Jurgens ... it is mostly a FARCE, a pathetic CHARADE of recreational stoners pretending  to suffer from a debilitating illness merely so they can get HIGH!


spiritualgreen
spiritualgreen

@Chelly Serna Except there is no CSU in Boulder. Its CU. 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Half Aspen  

Cept' Pedro is now Paul .....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Half Aspen ... and you don't need no stinkin' red card ... or have to show no stinkin' ID ... or video record your criminal transactions.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey ... they've learned from the bad experience of MMJ that the promised windfall tax $$$ is a big lie ... not even sufficient revenue to cover the basic costs of enforcement.

Of course they'll NEED to impose the MASSIVE Taxes and Fees to generate even a fraction of what the LYING LIARS and Pot Pimps promoted during their various scampaigns.


hipbilly
hipbilly

@Sean Bracken You are absolutely right. Back into the underground we go. Let people grow their own.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Charlie Whiskey ... why do you hate private pot dealers?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@jmpmk2  

I FULLY AGREE !!!

Marijuana is more accurately comparable to tobacco than alcohol, period !...

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@jmpmk2 Garbage!  How many idiots like you are there out there who ignore the science in favor of the fixed ideas implanted in their heads decades ago by prohibitionist propagandists?  Cannabis contains far less polonium-210 than does tobacco; this together with the demonstrated apoptotic properties of some cannabinoids may explain why no increased incidence of lung cancers from smoking cannabis has been documented.  Smoking cannabis is not entirely healthy for our lungs, but there is absolutely no justification for your claim or your taxes.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  <<< Your existence is mostly a farce, a pathetic charade.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@hipbilly   This issue has come up before; please explain how people go "back ... underground" once they have been above ground and are recognized.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay We know you and the police want to keep being able to make felons of people for selling cannabis.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Juan_Leg  -- only if one excludes from consideration the fact that many people eat their cannabis, as opposed to smoking it, and then only with regard to the method of ingestion, not in terms of the mortality they cause.

donkeyandjuansuck
donkeyandjuansuck

@Juan_Leg @jmpmk2 It is no way comparable maybe you,  Donkey dip shit and jmpmk2 need to take a basic pharmacology class then you will see how wrong and misinformed you all are.

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

@RobertChase @jmpmk2 How many stoners are out there, like you, who cherry pick whatever science they can find that might help themselves ignore the health risks involved with smoking ANYthing?  Smokers, drinkers, and drug addicts consume a disproportionate amount of our healthcare and their vices should be taxed to pay for it -- period.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = militant dilettante and pretentious poseur with ZERO experience in the marijuana business.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... now you're giving advice on how to conduct clandestine criminal drug sales?

From what personal experience do you draw this wisdom?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@hipbilly  -- an inappropriate one.  There's nothing paranoid about the observation that narcs have been gathering information about people who sell cannabis.  Anyone who has sold cannabis openly should consider that they may be known to have done so, and be subject to increased scrutiny as a result.  There are many felony penalties for cannabis in the Colorado Revised Statutes, and I doubt that even a single narc in the entire State has been discharged due to the changes the People made to our Constitution.  The only appropriate advice to people who sell cannabis is first, to be aware, and second, to be very careful.  I would add "educate and organize politically" to that list, but most people selling cannabis need to start by educating themselves.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "We changed the Constitution last year, or hadn't you heard?"

Surrendering TOTAL CONTROL of Marijuana over to Prohibitionist Politicians, the Insatiable Dept. of Revenue and the same Law Enforcement goons who've been running the Drug War against the citizens for these past 40+ years ...

While EXPLICITLY EXCLUDING the demographic group that suffers the most arrests and prosecutions for marijuana crimes -- those under 21 yrs old.

While EXPLICITLY affirming and enshrining into the Constitution that Driving under the INFLUENCE of Marijuana SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL ... without bothering to set any basic scientifically objective rational limit on that CRIME.

... all for a Pathetic Ounce! ... for "some" people.

Do society a favor -- stop trying to "help".


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  We changed the Constitution last year, or hadn't you heard?  Now it is time for people who want to stop criminalizing cannabis to overturn the felony penalties for it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase 

A64 = a CONTINUATION of FELONY CRIMINAL Prohibition for ALL Private Sales -- even a single gram!

A64 = did not repeal a SINGLE FELONY Statute in Colorado.

A64 = did not repeal a SINGLE MISDEMEANOR Statute in Colorado.

A64 = explicitly EXCLUDES everyone under 21 yrs old from ANY protection for recreational marijuana use, possession, cultivation or sale.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@donkeyandjuansuck ... so you rejected and voted against the festering turd A64, who campaign was based upon conflating a "harmless plant that never killed anyone" with DEADLY Alcohol that harms, maims and kills 10s of thousands of people ... every year!

@donkeyandjuansuck "I wish Donkey had guts and not hide behind a computer you pussy  "

More delusional stoner fantasy.

donkeyandjuansuck
donkeyandjuansuck

@DonkeyHotay @donkeyandjuansuck I am not comparing at all that is my point you brain dead smuck. It is people like you that misinform people. You have no knowledge about drugs or alcohol and every comment you post shows. You comment on everything but facts you troll. Alcohol is water and fat soluble it damages every tissue in your body.  Breaking alcohol addiction can be fatal these are facts. Most cannabis studies are to scare people anyways studies cannot be done on a substance that is illegal and most studies are lies again to scare people. Look up the Nixon report on cannabis I wish Donkey had guts and not hide behind a computer you pussy 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@donkeyandjuansuck <== compares and conflates a harmless plant with DEADLY alcohol ... wonders why society as a whole continues to reject it.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@jmpmk2  I referred you to the relevant facts.  To elaborate:  although both tobacco smoke and cannabis smoke contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have been shown to be carcinogenic, the contribution to the risk for cancer from smoking tobacco of polonium-210 (an alpha particle emitter which accumulates in commercially-grown tobacco because of the use of phosphate fertilizer) may be substantial.  Cannabis contains much less of this radioisotope, but the main reason cannabis is not shown to cause lung cancers may be due to the tumor-suppressing effects of certain cannabinoids, which can cause abnormal cells to commit suicide (apoptosis).  Cannabis smoke can irritate the breathing passages and lungs, and its use may contribute to emphysema, but the fact remains that there is no evidence that the use of cannabis causes increased mortality, from lung ailments or any other cause.  If and when we finally succeed in legalizing cannabis, epidemiological study of its effects on health will become much easier.  Many people now choose to vaporize high potency extracts of cannabis, which is probably safer still for the lungs, and many medical cannabis patients in particular prefer to eat cannabis.

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

@GuestWho Oh, I'm fine with that too.  Bring on the Twinkie Tax, and watch people flock to the produce aisle.

jmpmk2
jmpmk2

@RobertChase @jmpmk2 What am I ignoring?  Smoke of ANY kind -- be it from cigarette, bong, or campfire -- is harmful to lung health.  Any person willingly consuming smoke multiple times per day is more likely to be utilizing health services than a person who is not.

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

"Smokers, drinkers, and drug addicts consume a disproportionate amount of our healthcare and their vices should be taxed to pay for it"  - Don't forget the sedentary food addicts aka fat people.  And the sugar addicts aka diabetics.  Where is their calorie tax and state sanctioned mental health care programs?  Think I am joking?  Sugar is as addictive as COCAINE!!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@jmpmk2

"I am not even a registered patient" -- Robert Chase

.

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