Today, after weeks of debate, Colorado’s Senate and House approved House Bill 1318, which would establish a 25% tax on recreational marijuana sales. The tax would be split up into two parts; a 15% excise tax, and a 10% sales tax. The governor is expected to sign the measure, which would put it to a vote of the people this November. The tax money would be used for school construction, as well as regulating the newly-legal recreational marijuana industry.
The Senate also approved House Bill 1317 this morning, sending it to the full House. The measure would enact specific regulations on the marijuana industry, which includes everything from basic regulations such as requiring operators of marijuana retail outlets to be Colorado residents, to adjusting penalties for a minor possessing marijuana to be analogous to a minor possessing alcohol. Other regulations include baring cities from operating dispensaries, allowing tourists to legally purchase marijuana, etc.. Those interested can read the entirety of the bill by clicking here.
Although the regulations and tax rates are far from perfect, these measure take the state one giant step forward towards a functioning recreational marijuana market (and given that legal cannabis in Washington is going to be taxed at 25% on three different levels, a 15% excise tax and 10% sales tax isn’t too bad).
If all goes as planned, we should be roughly a year away from seeing legal marijuana sold in retail outlets, licensed by the State of Colorado.