Marijuana tax revenue makes up 1.7 percent of state’s budget
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Colorado ranks No. 1 among the 11 states that collect a cannabis excise tax in the percentage of its state budget that is supported by cannabis revenue. 

Between July 2021 and June 2022, Colorado collected $353.7 million from the statewide cannabis excise tax, reports Stacker, a site that produces data-driven feature stories, in a Jan. 27 post.

Although California, Washington and Illinois raked in more tax dollars than Colorado, our state led in terms of budget share.

Colorado’s cannabis revenue amounted to 1.7 percent of the state’s total tax revenue, edging out Nevada for first place because of higher total cannabis tax revenue.

Stacker also looked at the amount of cannabis excise tax collected per capita, and Colorado ranked No. 2, collecting $61 for every resident. Washington state was No. 1, with $67 per capita.

Stacker drew upon data from the Urban Institute to rank the states. 

According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state collected $325.1 million during calendar year 2022 and has reaped $2.344 billion in cannabis tax revenue since collections started in February 2014.

Here’s how the 11 states stack up:

Rank State Revenue Budget share Per capita

1 Colorado $353.7M 1.7% $61

2. Nevada $152.3M 1.7% $48

3. Washington $517.0M 1.5% $67

4. Alaska $28.9M 1.2% $39

5. Oregon $170.6M 1.0% $40

6. Illinois $466.8M 0.8% $37

7. Arizona $132.8M 0.6% $18

8. Michigan $163.5M 0.4% $16

9. Massachusetts $156.7M 0.4% $22

10. California $774.4M 0.3% $20

11. Maine $18.2M 0.3% $13

Springs revenue drops

In Colorado Springs, tax collections on medical marijuana sales continue to drop.

The city collected $120,988 in December 2022, down 17 percent from $146,087 collected in December 2021, according to the Colorado Springs Finance Department’s December report posted Jan. 11.

Tax collections in December reflect business activity in November but also may include delinquent filings.

For the 2022 calendar year, collections of the 2 percent city tax on medical marijuana sales dropped almost 35 percent.

Medical marijuana sales tax collections amounted to 1 percent of the city’s total sales tax collections in December.

CBD confounds FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t seem to know what to do about CBD and has lobbed that ball into Congress’s court.

The FDA announced Jan. 26 that it won’t make any new rules on CBD and wants Congress to develop new regulations on its use in human food and supplements and animal food.

The FDA made the announcement after denying three citizen petitions that had asked for rulemaking to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements.

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike the psychoactive compound THC, it does not cause users to get high. It’s widely marketed in many foods and beverages, oils, lotions, capsules and cosmetics.

FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock says in a statement that studies of CBD have raised safety concerns, with long-term use posing potential harm to the liver and male reproductive system and possible interactions with some medications. CBD exposure is especially concerning for children and pregnant women, she says.

Previously, the FDA has focused its limited enforcement activity on food and beverage products that have made unsubstantiated health claims regarding CBD, Reuters reports in a Jan. 26 post.

The agency approved Epidiolex, a medication that contains purified CBD from hemp, to treat seizure disorders and has concluded that the drug is safe and effective for its intended use. 

But it concludes that, given the limited data on CBD, “it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives,” Woodcock says. “For example, we have not found adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm.”

The agency will continue to take action against CBD products when appropriate and to monitor the growing marketplace, the statement says, but will work with Congress to develop “a cross-agency strategy for the regulation of these products to protect the public’s health and safety.”

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