Recreational Marijuana Tax Revenues Get Off to a Disappointing Start in Colorado

Colorado lawmakers are reviewing recreational marijuana taxes after sales from the past fiscal year did not meet early predictions.

The official estimated revenue that recreational marijuana was predicted to bring in $33.5 million through the fiscal year, which ended this summer.

Tax collections from Colorado reveal that the actual amount came in 60 percent lower than predicted, at a little over $12 million, according to The Denver Post.

Lawmakers, such as State Rep. Dan Pabon, the leader of a special legislative committee on marijuana revenue, say that existing medical marijuana tax laws, which are lower than that of recreational pot, may be a part of why recreational tax revenue didn’t meet expectations.

David Blake of the Colorado attorney general’s office suggests that medical marijuana’s continued success and recreational marijuana’s disappointing revenues are driven by the avoidance these higher taxes, The Denver Post said.Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

Despite the presence of recreational marijuana dispensaries, which are popping up all around the state, medical marijuana sales continue to hold a top place in the marijuana market.

It seems as though recreational marijuana hasn’t taken consumers away from medical marijuana businesses but instead has appealed to tourists and others who may have previously purchased pot illegally.

However, recreational tax revenues are projected to increase as the field grows and matures over time.

Some are especially optimistic, such as Dorinda Floyd from the Department of Revenue, who believes recreational pot will eventually surpass medical sales, The Denver Post reports.

In Arizona, medical marijuana is just getting settled in the market as Proposition 203, The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, was passed by voters in 2010.

Medical marijuana sales in Arizona are expected to have a significant place in the state’s economy as dispensaries continue to receive licenses and open.

A total of approximately 126 dispensaries are anticipated to exist in the state since 2012, give or take a few depending on the number of traditional pharmacies existing in Arizona at any given time.

For reference, one dispensary may open in accordance with every 10 pharmacies in the state the Arizona Department of Health Services explains explains.

A study published by Arizona State University Professor Timothy Hogan predicts that dispensaries will support 1,500 full-time jobs and pay out $74 million a year in wages in 2016.

After including additional businesses and spending as a result of direct wages, those numbers increase to 6,500 jobs for Arizona workers, $315 million in income payments and $990 million in overall economic activity, the Phoenix Business Journal reports.

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