Where does Colorado’s marijuana tax money go?

By Jesse Paul

THE COLORADO SUN

Marijuana sales tax collection since recreational sales began in 2014 in May surpassed $1 billion, Colorado officials said Wednesday.

That’s a major milestone for a burgeoning industry, which has sold more than $6.5 billion in that time period.

Colorado now has almost 3,000 licensed marijuana businesses and more than 40,000 people who are licensed to work in the industry.

“This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction,” Gov. Jared Polis, the nation’s most pot-friendly politician, said in a written statement.

Still, with Wednesday’s news many will ask where all that tax money goes. “It’s one of the most frequently asked questions we are asked,” said Shannon Gray, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Revenue.

It’s imposed like this for retail marijuana: A 15% percent excise tax is levied on recreational cannabis when it is sold from a cultivation facility to a store of manufacturer. Retail pot purchasers then must pay a 15% tax when they get to the counter.

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