|Denver Proposes Plan for Marijuana Revenues to Address City’s Immediate Needs
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today proposed an updated spending plan for marijuana tax revenues to ensure Amendment 64 continues to be implemented successfully in Denver.
The $3.35 million plan, which will be considered by the Denver City Council’s Government and Finance Committee on June 11, will allow the city to meet immediate regulatory, safety and education needs directly tied to the new retail marijuana industry.
“We promised the people of Denver responsible and balanced implementation of Amendment 64, and this request will help us meet that goal,” Mayor Hancock said. “It will give us the tools necessary to properly regulate the industry and protect our neighborhoods, our children, our parks and other public spaces.”
The spending plan allocates money to specific uses in three categories as follows:
- Business Regulations and Neighborhood Safety - $1,785,700
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety - $825,700
- Youth and Public Education - $746,000
Aligned with the priorities of Hancock administration, the proposal will provide support to educational efforts, including new youth prevention activities in partnership with the state and an extension of the city’s successful “Know the Law” campaign around responsible adult use.
The plan also will allow the city to develop a robust data collection system to track the impact of this new law and continue to make smart, responsible policy and spending decisions.
“Denver is at the forefront of this new frontier of marijuana regulation,” Denver Executive Director of Marijuana Policy Ashley Kilroy said. “From the onset of this unprecedented law, it’s imperative that we have the resources to create a framework for a responsible marijuana industry.”
Denver voters in November approved a 3.5 percent sales tax on retail marijuana sales to support the implementation of Amendment 64, including regulation, enforcement, public health and education efforts as well as programs to prevent underage use.
Colorado voters also approved an excise tax of 15 percent, wherein the first $40 million goes to school construction, and also an initial special sales tax of 10 percent. A portion of the special state sales tax is shared back to local governments that have approved retail marijuana sales. The Denver portion of state revenue is based on the amount of revenue activity that occurs within Denver for that particular month.