Cannabis plants in an indoor grow operation.

Rory Savatgy

Aurora, CO Planning One-Third of Cannabis Tax Revenue for Homeless Programs

Over the next three years, homeless outreach programs in Aurora, Colorado will receive more than $3 million to provide services to the homeless community from their cut of the profits from the taxes derived from adult-use cannabis sales, according to a Vetts report. The programs will see about $1.5 million in funding by June 2017, the end of the current fiscal year.

The city gained $4.5 million via sales and excise taxes raised through legal cannabis sales and has already given funds to homeless action programs, such as the Comitis Crisis Center and Aurora Mental Health, who used the resources to purchase and van and hire two care workers, while Colfax Community Network was given $220,000 for operational costs. One Aurora Housing Association received $45,000 to pay the salary of a full-time landlord coordinator, who works with property owners to approve the housing applications of formerly homeless applicants.  

The plan was approved last May and City Councilman Bob Roth said it’s an example of how legalization can benefit a community and the influence a local government can have.

“We wanted to be able to show citizens that we are having a positive impact on the community and point to specific projects or initiatives to where that money is going to,” he said in the report.  

Colorado raised nearly $70 million through cannabis tax revenues during the last fiscal year, which ended in June.      

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