Cannabis tax revenues in Colorado have fallen nearly $100 million from 2021 to 2022, the Denver Gazette reports. In 2021, during the coronavirus pandemic, the state collected $423 million in cannabis taxes, which fell to $325 million in 2022. In 2020, the state collected $387 million in cannabis taxes.
Last year, more than $675 million of cannabis taxes collected in Colorado went to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund. The Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund received nearly $391 million, the Public School Fund got $276.6 million, and the rest was divided between local government ($138.38 million) and the state’s general fund ($135.99 million), the report says.
The Marijuana Industry Group Executive Director Truman Bradley told the Gazette that retail cannabis sales are down across the state.
“I don’t have a crystal ball as to the future, but there are a few things I know definitively: The first is decade number two of legalization in this state needs to look fundamentally different than decade number one. The cannabis industry is extremely compliant and it can be a good source of revenue for state and local governments, but we need to take a hard look at the regulations that were first put in when no one knew how this was going to go and assess whether that’s actually appropriate or whether it’s time to maybe relax those a little bit.” — Bradley to the Gazette
During the pandemic, when Colorado imposed stay-at-home orders and many employees shifted to working remotely, cannabis consumption increased. Since then, Colorado has seen reduced sales due, in part, to shifts in consumer behavior, more states legalizing adult-use cannabis, and less disposable income due to inflation.
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