Marijuana: High MMJ Patient Numbers Concern Lawmaker

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for william.breathes.mmj.card.large.jpg
According to data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there were 115,210 registered medical marijuana patients in Colorado at the end of May -- close to a record high. That has lawmakers concerned, not because it means there are a lot of sick people in Colorado, but due to the loss of tax revenue from retail cannabis.

See also: Cannabis Time Capsule 1934: Smoking "Maggies" of "Mary Warner"

The jump in patient numbers this year goes against predictions from state officials, who'd assumed that many medical marijuana patients would drop off the state registry once recreational marijuana sales began. Their reasoning was that medical patients would be able to avoid the extra costs and time involved with doctor's visits as well as registering with the state -- but that hasn't been the case. Why not? Many people point to the consistently higher prices for recreational cannabis -- and that's before a tax rate that can add another 20 percent.

May saw nearly $32 million worth of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products sold in Colorado, netting about $927,000 in total tax for the state from the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax. In the same month, $22.14 million in recreational pot was sold, but with the combined 2.9 percent sales tax, 10 percent special sales tax and 15 percent excise tax, the state raked in a total of $3.78 million as a result of those sales.

dan.pabon.twitter.photo.jpg
Representative Dan Pabon.
Some lawmakers see the gulf between the two revenue streams as a problem.

Representative Dan Pabon, a Democrat from Denver, said last week that he was concerned with the impact medical marijuana is having on revenues from recreational cannabis, and he's now heading up a legislative committee examining both markets. Pabon hasn't given details of what the group will be studying, but he's hinted that he would like to change the medical marijuana program in such a way that it would increase revenue on the recreational side. Whether this means proposing lower taxes for recreational pot and enticing more customers over that way or raising taxes for medical pot and making it more burdensome to become a medical cannabis patient remains to be seen. The group meets again on Thursday, August 28. (For more information on the committee, visit the state legislative website.)

Despite a slight decline in medical cannabis patients from April to May -- 970 names -- the number of minors on the registry continued to grow. It's now up to 335, from 307. The rest of the data remained relatively unchanged. Most medical cannabis patients live in the Denver metro area, and 54 percent of those on the registry designate a medical cannabis facility or a private caregiver as their primary means of obtaining cannabis. Two-thirds of all registered patients are men, with an average age of 41. The average age of women on the registry is 44.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
130 comments
KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

In 13 years 261,000 patients have voluntarily registered at some point with the CDPHE registry and gotten red cards.


Prior to HB10-1284 implementation in 2010, there were 140,000 plus voluntarily registered patients and 60,000 plus voluntarily registered caregivers.

Today, even though the CDPHE just lectured last week that the registry continues to grow after passage of A64 and Sen. Pabon declared patients are ‘cheating’ the A64 taxes, in reality, registered patients are down 22% (116,000 plus) and registered caregivers are down 96% (2,900 plus). 

Steven Toth
Steven Toth

How about you raise the tax on out of towners purchasing marijuana and lower it to residents.

Ryan Gilmartin
Ryan Gilmartin

my prediction is medical will become more restricted as time goes on... the state will crack down on 'back pain', 'monthly pain', etc... and drive many of those 'patients' to recreational

Will Garrison
Will Garrison

You would most likely be better off just minding your own business and worrying about actual problems

Justin Kershman
Justin Kershman

Of course medical is gonna go up...this state has always been money mongers! They are gonna roll this bitch till the wheels fall off!

Joshua Trotter
Joshua Trotter

taxes NEVER get lowered so that should give you your answer... Greedy f**ks always wanting to take as much as they can get away with!

Owen Devonshire
Owen Devonshire

Just lower the recreational a bit. I don't mind paying a bit extra when it's going to good use, but goddamn it's expensive. Half the time I just have a friend with a med card get it for me.

Christopher D. Ortiz
Christopher D. Ortiz

I think if one more damn thing that against patients is gonna make the citizens push back. Why hasn't anyone talked about the tax money excel energy is collecting from the MMJ industry. Wheres that money going? Here's a clue gov. people don't want to dive to CO. to be tax and charged more than they pay at home illegal. Stop pushing Colorado tax payers around. The Medical amendment was first do not infringe are try to alter these rights any more. so much greed free the weed

Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline

Lmfao is that a joke.... they never lower taxes maybe you need to smoke less Westword

A Chris Heismann
A Chris Heismann

Considering that the CO legislature won't address this until the next session, which is AFTER the general election in November, perhaps this is a question people should be asking their candidates. As a candidate for State Senate District 20, I would vote for lowering the taxes on retail. http://www.Facebook.com/ChrisHeismannforStateSenate

Dylan Steiner
Dylan Steiner

that should be left up to THE PEOPLE TO DECIDE!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

How about we raise the taxes on Steven Toth and lower them for everyone else/

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... and uneducated too.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

A -monger is a trader or dealer in a specified commodity, e.g. a fishmonger; try "moneygrubbers".

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... stupid fucks who beg and explicitly empower the government to TAX THE SHIT out of marijuana.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

When do stoners learn rudimentary English?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Amendment 64 -- and retarded retards like you who supported it -- EXPLICITLY AUTHORIZED MASSIVE TAXES upon marijuana.


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Owen. Much appreciated.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Why would they lower anything when lazy fucktards like you continue to support the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartel system?



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

I don't; in order to be able to "push back", concerned citizens need to organize against the prohibitionists -- there is no sign that people who use cannabis are about to.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Why aren't people talking about the ENVIRONMENTAL HARM done by growing marijuana INDOORS under COAL-Fired INCANDESCENT LIGHTS!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Kevin Kline "they never lower taxes"


The authors and supporters of A64 surrendered total control and allowed the politicians and Dept. of Revenue the power to levy UNLIMITED taxes on their precious pot.


How fucking brilliant was that?




Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

@chrisheismann

The real "problem" of price disparity between recreational and medical pot isn't the slightly higher taxes, though that's the propaganda dispensaries use, it's the wildly inflated base prices being charged by greedy profiteering dispensary owners for recreational pot, often double or triple what they charge for the same medical bud.

If you lower the taxes on recreational pot the greedy dispensary cartels will simply pocket the money themselves by raising their unit price to offset the tax reduction.

Don't be a tool for the greedy profiteering dispensary cartels.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Interesting position on this issue, A. Chris. Thanks for posting.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

That's all well and good, but the fix is in -- Hack has set up the CDPHE to claim that it is in the interest of children's health to drive up the price of retail cannabis.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

@DonkeyHotay = but citizens can grow their own for free, so I suppose they have that going for them.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

Oh, and I love calling people names.  It makes me feel so smart and powerful.  The best way to be a marijuana "advocate".  Let the hate flow!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... too late, that piece of shit A64 surrendered TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana over to the Prohibitionists and the Insatiable Tax Pigs.


Epic Fail!



D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

as I spew my hate into the environment. But that is ok because I said so.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

I have been crying about this for years.  The hate that I have on our community is big.  Let the hate flow!

I reset the standard for sore loser to just loser now.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase <== YOU are getting EXACTLY what was bargained for by that festering turd A64.



D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

I was too high to get enough signatures for my bill, so any that succeeded are bad.  No reason, just bad.  I feel like one of those spoiled little brat girls.  If I don't get my way I am going to ruin everything that I can.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@D0NKEYH0TAY Whoever you are, you are right, you set the standard for loser.  Get your own identity.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

festering turd.  I feel so powerful on the internet.

In reality im just old, withered, and spiteful.  Such a pretty pretty image in my mirror.  Yes, so pretty.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase No; we are getting exactly what we might have expected by not educating and organizing politically.  The prohibitionists are ensconced in State government and its bureaucracy, they have some political organization, and they are strongly motivated by self-interest; we are not, and we are reaping the fruits of our ignorance and apathy, neither of which anything to do with Amendment 64 (of 2012).

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "we are getting exactly what we might have expected"


FUCK YOU Robert, and FUCK your egomaniacal political ignorance.


Once again, may YOU suffer the FULL PAIN and HARM that is now being brought against Medical Patients and Caregivers by that prohibitionist piece of shit A64.



Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...