A Deeper Look Into Colorado’s Marijuana Tax Revenue

America is a haven for legal marijuana usage and possession, within limits of course, with many other countries, even ones with liberal pot regulations (*cough* The Netherlands *cough*) looking to the good Ol’ US of A for inspiration, in many ways! And king among the states, in terms of early marijuana legalization and propagation, is Colorado!

Colorado’s Pot Policies

The Centennial State, as it’s called, is quite (in)famous among the rest of the states as a gigantic speakeasy, even when legalization had not been a topic under frantic discussion. Fast forward to votes being passed left, right and center, and Colorado is once again setting standards for the rest of the state.

This is mainly due to the relaxed and quite frankly, progressive policies which Colorado, as a state, imposes upon marijuana usage and possession. If you are over the age of 21, you have permission to possess an ounce of THC, which does not limit the possessor as to what form of marijuana they want to keep, be it in bud form or edibles, or even oil. In addition to that, purchasing has been upped for tourists, with 28 grams being the purchasing limit at present.

Marijuana Tax Collection: How Revenue is Distributed

The myriad transactions amount to quite a huge amount of tax collections, all of which is distributed among the state. Following are some of the avenues among which marijuana tax is distributed.

  • The initial $40 million, as collected annually, is directed towards BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today), which is an initiative to refurbish and renovate public schools that are in poor repair.
  • For 2017, the Department of Agriculture was allocated $3 million for inspection services, pest control, and FAA and 4H programs, among other services.
  • Over a million was allocated to the office of the Attorney General, with the special prosecutions unit receiving $286,766.
  • $8.4 million went to the Department of Education, for a number of initiatives, among which are the prevention of bullying in schools, as well as reducing the total number of dropouts, by way of engagement programs. Around half of the revenue was allocated to the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program.
  • $219,944 was allocated to the Governor’s office, the majority of which went to the Office of Marijuana Coordination.
  • The Department of Public Health and Environment received in excess of $18 million, as funding for a number of programs, such as the Marijuana Education Campaign, as well as drug abuse prevention.


The massive tax gains, although a glaring example of how beneficial marijuana legalization will be to the general economy, has failed to sway some of the more conservative states. Whether or not there are ulterior motives at play here, is another conversation, but for now, it is safe to ascertain that Colorado is well on its way to becoming perhaps the most self-sufficient state.

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