Statement below from Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project
DENVER — The Marijuana Policy Project issued the following statement in response to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s announcement that Colorado generated nearly $200 million in state tax revenue in calendar year 2016. This does not include millions of dollars in revenue generated by local taxes on marijuana.
Based on the tax figures, The Cannabist estimated approximately $1.3 billion in regulated marijuana sales took place in Colorado in 2016.
Statement from Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“Over one billion dollars in marijuana sales that once took place in the underground market were instead conducted in regulated businesses this year. The state received nearly $200 million in marijuana tax revenue, whereas just a decade ago it was receiving zero. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for the 42 states that still choose to force marijuana sales into the criminal market and forego millions of dollars in tax revenue.
“Marijuana tax revenue is not going to cover the state’s budget, but it is going to cover important programs and services that would otherwise be left out of it. This money is just the tip of the iceberg. The state is also reaping the invaluable public health and safety benefits of replacing an underground market with a tightly regulated system. Marijuana is now being sold in licensed businesses, rather than out on the street. It is being properly tested, packaged, and labeled, and it is only being sold to adults who show proof of age. The system is working.”
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