CO Expects To Reap Tax Bonanza From MJ Sales
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CO Expects To Reap Tax Bonanza From MJ Sales
Posted by CN Staff on February 20, 2014 at 20:14:57 PT
By Jack Healy
Source: New York Times
Denver -- For Colorado’s new flock of recreational marijuana growers and sellers, Thursday was Tax Day — their first deadline to hand over the taxes they had collected during their inaugural month of sales. And as store owners stuffed cash into lockboxes and made the nervous trek to government offices, new budget numbers predicted that those marijuana taxes could add more than $100 million a year to state coffers, far more than earlier estimates.
The figures offered one of the first glimpses into how the bustling market for recreational marijuana was beginning to reshape government bottom lines — an important question as marijuana advocates push to expand legalization beyond Colorado and Washington State into states including Arizona, Alaska and Oregon.In Colorado, where recreational sales began on Jan. 1 with hourlong waits, a budget proposal from Gov. John W. Hickenlooper estimated that the state’s marijuana industry could reach $1 billion in sales in the next fiscal year, with recreational sales making up about $610 million of that business.“It’s well on its way to being a billion-dollar industry,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a Colorado trade association. “We went from 110,000 medical marijuana patients to four billion people in the world who are 21 and up.” In the budget proposal that Mr. Hickenlooper released Wednesday, his office said the state could collect about $134 million in taxes from recreational and medical marijuana for the fiscal year beginning in July. He proposed to spend $99 million on programs including substance-abuse treatment, preventing marijuana use by children and teenagers, public health and law enforcement.“This package represents a strong yet cautious first step toward ensuring a safe and responsible regulatory environment,” Mr. Hickenlooper wrote in the proposal.In Washington, where retail sales of marijuana are expected to begin in June, budget forecasters estimated Wednesday that marijuana could bring the state nearly $190 million in taxes for the four years beginning in the middle of 2015. That money would go to a variety of health and substance-abuse programs, and the state’s general fund.“Every governor and legislator in the country will be like, ‘Hey, check out these numbers,’ ” said Reuven Carlyle, a Democratic state lawmaker from Seattle who is chairman of the House Finance Committee.For marijuana advocates, taxes were one of the major selling points of legalization. They have said that expanding the market for the federally prohibited plant could give states money for school construction, health care, substance-abuse programs and public health. Colorado’s legalization measure said $40 million in tax revenue would go toward school construction, and in November, voters across this otherwise tax-averse state overwhelmingly approved 25 percent taxes on recreational marijuana.But opponents, and some skeptical economists, say the dreams of a windfall are far too optimistic. They worry that the higher costs of enforcement and regulation could outweigh any tax revenue from marijuana sales.Officials in Colorado and Washington warned that the marijuana revenue numbers were only their best guesses for the moment and could shift, depending on marijuana prices, demand, the number of cities that prohibit marijuana retailers and other factors. In Washington, where retail sales have not begun, Mr. Carlyle said it was far too early to say how marijuana might affect the state’s pocketbook.“Many of us have been emphatic at trying to temper expectations,” he said.Across Colorado, Thursday was one of the most nerve-racking days of the year for marijuana businesses. Some sellers have hired third-party companies to handle their finances, but many run almost entirely on cash because so few banks are willing to do business with them.To pay their sales taxes — often their largest expense of the month — owners said they had set aside tens of thousands of dollars in secure locations and driven in pairs to deposit it with government officials. Brooke Gehring, owner of Patients Choice, a chain of dispensaries, sent an armed guard with the employee who ferried $140,000 in taxes to several local and state agencies.Caitlin McGuire, an owner of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, said she tucked her tax payments into a lockbox several days ago and made the drive to Denver from Breckenridge, Colo., with a co-owner of the business.“We just try to be as discreet as possible,” she said. “You feel like you’re walking around with a target over your head.”A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2014, on page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Tax Bonanza Is Expected For Colorado On Marijuana . Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Jack HealyPublished: February 21, 2014Copyright: 2014 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 21, 2014 at 12:40:12 PT
It sure did spark a wonderful eye opening revolution and I believe that is what Republicans are afraid of. People that only smoke cannabis and don't drink alcohol spend time thinking and thinking is good but it doesn't stir up anger that Republicans depend on to win.
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on February 21, 2014 at 12:35:20 PT
Hope #9
If the 1960's pot was so weak, why were we hunted like dogs? Also, if 1960's pot was so weak, how did it spark a musical & cultural revolution?
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 21, 2014 at 12:13:53 PT
Patrick Kennedy
He is blaming the substances instead of himself. If all the drugs were eradicated from the face of the earth someone would figure out a way to get high. 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 11:09:11 PT
People seem to want a whipping boy...a scapegoat.
Something to blame for all their problems, shortcomings, and failures and cannabis is a handy scapegoat for many, obviously. Anything to blame by themselves. Something to remove all responsibility from themselves. "I accept no responsibility for my actions at all. I couldn't help it. Don't blame me. It wasn't me! It was that danged ditch weed!"Patrick. I don't see a man making up for wrongs. I see Patrick Kennedy trying to be another artful dodger and actually being a tool for the prohibs. 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:58:42 PT
And if the sixties... and hippies just had
worthless old ditchweed.... which does nothing. How come they were pursued like animals and treated like murderers for something so harmless? Tell me that Patrick Kennedy. Why the hell were they so persecuted and often MURDERED by the government over ditch weed?!!!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:52:18 PT
Surprised they listen to him at all?
I've wondered that, too. But I think, they are using him. Using his name and holding him up as the pitiful poster boy. It doesn't work. He's a normal human that messed up... needs to face it and own it, and leave other people out of it. With him, I suspect, also, that it's partially a "trick"... to make us not look at him. He's saying, "I'm not so bad... look at these other guys". Accusation can be very handy for obfuscation with these guys.It's a pretty common maneuver with some children when they get in trouble.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:41:32 PT
That's true, FoM. About P. Kennedy.
It's obvious. But he goes too far in his fear... to wanting to abuse people over it. He's also, I'm sure, extremely embarrassed about his own very public scenes, especially concerning that episode with driving asleep with that skanky sleepy pill. I'm sure he's trying to make up for something... he imagines. I don't care for the way he's trying to show everyone he's ok now. Blah.It's like he's saying, "I'm ok, now, I really am. Watch me slap this pothead upside the head. Whap! See? I'm not one of them. Here... let me slap another one. I'll prove it."
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:35:16 PT
Of course the tax money is rolling in.
And they are saving ridiculous enforcement costs. Seems that some of us have been bringing that up.... like FOREVER!The sky didn't fall. No need for cages.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 21, 2014 at 10:31:35 PT
Patrick Kennedy
I am surprised that people listen to him at all. He has no evidence of what he says to be true. He lacks self control over substances and that is why he is on this mission.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 21, 2014 at 10:28:11 PT
Patrick Kennedy
He reminds me of some reformed alcoholics or smokers. He has an addictive personality and assumes everyone does. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:23:40 PT
He's a bad man, in my opinion.
“Incarceration is a powerful motivator,” says Kennedy, 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:18:55 PT
I know! I know!
I know what hole he lived in, and apparently still feels comfy in! The one where he's kept in the dark with no information and fed only government propaganda. And he believes it!
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on February 21, 2014 at 10:15:48 PT
Patrick Kennedy
They probably say it in other places, too, but down here, the common saying that would apply to this particular Kennedy is, "There's something wrong with that boy."Aaargh. He's so arrogant and know it all and knows nothing!Hippies did not smoke Ditch Weed! Dang I get sick of that know nothing, but somehow, know it all bilge that he and Sabet spew. They are so ignorant or so cunning that they think it only matters if they can deceive those that don't know. We had excellent weed in the olden days. Excellent! That's why we liked it! The sixties didn't happen with ditch weed.One plump but normal sized joint could get twelve people high for two hours and they had a ball! Two hits and they were baked. The music was good, too! It was fantastic!Why is it so important for them to lie? Oh ... I forgot... their entire premise is built on lies.It was good weed! It was "KILLER WEED" ... Skunk... even then.... it was pine tree, it was Acapulco Gold, Panama Red and Thai Stick. What hole did that Kennedy guy live in?Treatment or Jail: Patrick Kennedy Wages Fierce Anti-Pot Crusade
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