“Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is credited for saying this in an opinion he wrote nearly 100 years ago.
We’ve been reflecting on this quote since our trip to Colorado on 4/20.
A Closer Look at Where the Money Goes
Consider this receipt from downtown Denver dispensary Native Roots. We found the tax details to be so interesting! For $48 in products we paid over 20% in taxes—that amounted to nearly an additional $10 on the transaction.
Frankly, we were delighted to pay it. In fact, we might even say that we felt altruistic seeing that we were supporting cultural facilities and RTD (Denver’s bus and rail service provider), in addition to paying the state and municipality taxes.
During our visits to dispensaries (at which there was always a healthy line of customers) we didn’t hear anyone whining over the seemingly hefty cannabis taxes. For us, this was a small price to pay for the chance to legally obtain marijuana products for recreational, adult-use. Cheers to Colorado for tapping into this vast new stream of tax revenue.
Let’s be honest, “stream” seems like an insignificant word to describe what this is really doing for Colorado. Tax flood, perhaps?
It has been reported that cannabis sales in Colorado last year easily topped $1 BILLION. From that, the state took in nearly $200 million in cannabis tax revenue. Data shows that this amount has been steadily increasingly over the past 3 years.
To be fair, cannabis taxes in Colorado are not (yet) enough to solve all societal woes there. This point was well covered last summer in this story from Colorado’s 9 News. Utopia,no. Better than nothing, for sure!
And the state has not yet reached its full potential when it comes to tax revenue. Not only are sales steadily increasing year-over-year, but now legislators are considering maxing out the recreational marijuana special sales tax to fix the budget. For our receipt above, this could equate to an additional $2.40. Would we pay it? In a heartbeat.
Adult Use Coming to Michigan?
While Colorado is an awesome state, we are really excited for what this could all mean for Michigan, with twice the population of Colorado and an active tourism industry, we could finally solve a few issues here (the pothole-riddled roads). Our enthusiasm elevated last week when our Board of State Canvassers approved the petition to put recreational, adult-use marijuana on the ballot in 2018, assuming the petitioners can garner enough (250,000) signatures with the 180-day time frame.
Help the cause and find a location near you to sign the petition today!