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Rocky Mountain High: Colorado Pulls In Millions in Pot Taxes

© Flickr / Brett LevinColorado was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana production and sales, aiming to raise tax revenues.
Colorado was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana production and sales, aiming to raise tax revenues. - Sputnik International
Colorado has collected $44 million in new taxes during the first year of recreational pot sales.

Containers for retail marijuana await filling at 3D Cannabis Center, a recreational retail outlet in Denver. - Sputnik International
Colorado Residents Eyeing Tax Refunds Thanks to Pot Sales
The western state’s total 2014 marijuana revenue, including medical pot taxes, fees on the industry and pre-existing sales taxes, was about $76 million, according to the annual year-end report released on Tuesday.

Colorado was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana production and sales, aiming to raise tax revenues. It was closely watched by other states that have made pot sales legal and those considering legalizing it.

Other states where pot sales are legal, including Washington brought in $16.4 million in marijuana excise.

Colorado collected around $50 million in recreational cannabis tax revenue in 2014 — the first year of sales to adults 21 and over. - Sputnik International
Colorado Residents May Get Weed Refund

But Colorado isn’t satisfied with $44 million. The new taxes were estimated to bring in around $70 million.

“Everyone who thinks Colorado’s rollin’ in the dough because of marijuana? That’s not true,” said state Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat and one of the Legislature’s main budget-writers.

With such large tax revenue, the state is required to return some of that money to residents.

Lawmakers however, are debating putting a ballot measure before Colorado voters asking them to exempt  pot taxes from refund requirement.

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