The precise amount that recreational marijuana will be taxed has not yet been established. The only specific information that was written into Amendment 64 regarding taxes was that the first $40 million earned from the excise tax will go toward public school construction. The Joint Committee plans to introduce a bill to the legislature based on the Amendment 64 Task Force recommendations that would make the tax on the recreational use of marijuana at around 40%. If the bill is passed, it would go on the November ballot.
The current tax on medical marijuana is similar to the way food and alcohol is taxed, which is around 8% (depending on the city). The drastic difference between the tax on medical marijuana (around 8%) and recreational marijuana (recommended 40%) is creating some expected controversy. The tax would be made up of a 15% special tax, 15% excise tax, in addition to state and local sales taxes, which would mean a roughly 40% sales tax on all marijuana products.
The special tax will go toward “enforcement, public education and health and safety” said State Rep. Dan Pabon (Head of the Joint Committee). Pabon does not believe that the current tax is enough to cover all the expenses necessary to implement the new law. Opponents to the 40% tax worry that the “increased prices on marijuana would force customers to buy from the black market. Shop owners said they’ve paid large fees and licensing costs, which should fund enforcement.” The tax is only a recommendation as of this point and only time will tell what the exact tax on recreational marijuana and products will be.