Colorado Cannabis Taxes: Where Does the Green Go?

Tax season is peaking right about now, so what better time to answer the question: where do my cannabis tax dollars go?

First, you should know that each municipality sets its own local tax rates (that’s why you’ll pay slightly different prices at The Green Solution in, say, Fort Collins, than you will at The Green Solution in Aurora – more on that in a future blog). In addition to those local taxes, the state of Colorado taxes the sale of cannabis. As reported by Westword in an article from April of last year, “Colorado has three main cannabis taxes: a 2.9 percent sales tax on medical marijuana, a so-called special sales tax on retail marijuana that went from 10 percent to 15 percent on July 1, 2017, and a 15 percent excise tax on retail marijuana.” That adds up to lot of revenue for the state. The Colorado Department of Revenue reported that in 2018, Colorado’s marijuana taxes, including licenses and fees from dispensaries, brought in over $266 million.

So, how does all that green get divvied up? Here’s a graphic from the Marijuana Industry Group that breaks it down.

If you prefer, the Marijuana Industry Group also made this short video that illustrates the same information.

As you can see, the answer to the question is multifaceted. Suffice it to say, when you buy legal cannabis in Colorado, you’re contributing to the welfare of our great state and its citizens. Good for you!