Colorado marijuana tax revenues pass $1 billion

Colorado marijuana tax revenues pass $1 billion

VicesJune 13, 2019 By Reilly Capps

A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.

Since rec weed went legit in 2014, Colorado has collected taxes and fees equaling a one with nine zeros — one zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero. 

Yes, Colorado's weed tax bank account joined the three coma club, the government said.

Weed, outlawed and demonized for 40 years, is now growing by the hectare, and basically printing money. It has "clearly fulfilled its promise," Brian Vicente, co-author of pot-legalization Amendment 64, said in a statement.

(Amendment 64's tax revenue hit the $1 billion mark in its 64th month, Vicente noted.)

Colorado is a mid-size state of about 6 million people. So, to reach a billion dollars, Coloradans had to smoke a lot of weed — sales have now topped $6 billion. (And, we're sure, not a gram of pot was bought by out-of-staters who smuggled it home in their luggage *cough* *cough*.)

Per Coloradan, a billion dollars in tax revenue is about $200 each, or about $40 a year.

Where did the billion dollars go? About $283 million went for school construction. The rest has been for substance abuse treatment, public health, affordable housing, and more.

Though Colorado is killing it on pot, Jared Polis, the new governor and super-pro-weed politician, wants the state to keep its edge.

“Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector,” Polis said.

Since Colorado said yes to legal pot in 2012, 10 states have followed.

Today, California and Oregon have weed laws that are (generally) looser than Colorado's, and Canada, Israel and Colombia more weed-friendly than the U.S.

Of course, if 10 states have legalized rec pot, that means 40 states haven't.

Forty states ain't getting that moolah.

Forty states wasting dough jailing pot dealers.

"It’s crazy to think how much money states are flushing down the toilet by keeping marijuana in an illegal market," Mason Tvert, one of the activists most responsible for weed legalization, said in a statement.