Larimer Square in downtown Denver at twilight.

Geoff Livingston

Denver, Colorado is using $1.2 million derived from cannabis tax revenues to pave city roads, according to a Denver7 report. The funds will enable the Public Works Department to pave “at least 50” additional blocks, spokeswomen Nancy Kuhn said in the report.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the city receives about $13 million to $14 million a year in excess cannabis revenues – some used for education and some goes to the general fund. The road repair money – $27 million total – is coming from the general fund.

Hancock said that he anticipates those excess revenues will likely decrease as more states legalize cannabis for recreational use, so the city doesn’t earmark those funds for long-term projects requiring steady funding, rather for one-time projects.

Kuhn indicated that this is the first time that the Public Works Department has received cannabis revenues.

“The marijuana revenue is on top of the $4.5 million that we’re receiving from Measure 2-A that voters passed a few years ago. Our funding levels are really optimum right now.” – Kuhn to Denver7

Denver isn’t the only city using cannabis money to improve the lives of citizens. Last August, the Aspen School District was given $250,000 from the state’s cannabis taxes to employ an on-campus social worker for three years. The state Department of Education announced in 2016 a program that would see cannabis-derived taxes fund an anti-bullying program.

According to Colorado Department of Revenue data, last year the state saw $247.37 million in revenues from cannabis taxes – its highest totals to date. Through February, the department has received $42.82 million.

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