Pubdate: Tue, 11 Mar 2014
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Corp
Author: John Ingold

Pot Taxes in One Month: $2m


Colorado collected slightly more than $2 million in taxes on the sale 
of recreational marijuana in the month of January, according to new 
figures released by the state Monday.

The numbers are the first official tally of the historic January 
sales, themselves a nationwide first. If the figures remain at that 
pace, sales and tax revenues would fall below previous estimates of 
what Colorado could reap from the sale of marijuana.

In January, Colorado collected $1.4 million from a special 10 percent 
sales tax on recreational marijuana, plus another $416,690 from the 
state's standard 2.9 percent sales tax, according to a news release 
Monday from the Colorado Department of Revenue. Extrapolating from 
those figures, recreational marijuana businesses did slightly more 
than $14 million in retail sales during the month.

Most of the tax revenue came from stores in Denver, and the city 
reported it collected $616,282 in local sales taxes from recreational 
marijuana sales in January. In addition, the state will share 
$128,586 with the city from statewide collections.

Recreational marijuana businesses paid $195,318 in excise tax during 
January, which will be put toward school construction.

In total, 59 recreational marijuana businesses filed returns in January.

Both Gov. John Hickenlooper's budget office and legislative analysts 
have predicted recreational sales for the first six months of 2014 
would top $190 million.

The industry's swelling ranks - plus a state rule that exempted some 
early marijuana transfers from excise tax-mean monthly tax totals may 
rise as the year goes on. Barbara Brohl, head of the state Department 
of Revenue, said it could be April before collections stabilize.

"We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to 
incorporate this data into future forecasts," she said in a statement.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom