Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Revenue

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Colorado state officials initially figured recreational marijuana sales would bring in $33.5 million in revenue through the fiscal year, but actual revenue in the first six months was closer to $12 million and that's got lawmakers thinking it may be time to rethink how pot is taxed. Denver Post staff writer John Ingold wrote about the revenue shortfall last month, reporting that the state's cheaper medical marijuana market played a role in the recreational market. The recreational market, he wrote, largely depended on tourists and others who previously purchased pot on the black market.

Medical marijuana consumers, it turned out, stuck with the medical market, reported Ingold. The findings could have implications for Oregon, where voters will weigh a legalization initiative in November. Oregon, too, has a robust medical marijuana market as well as a thriving black market one.

Wrote Ingold: "I think our original assumption about the cannibalization was wrong," Colorado Legislative Council economist Larson Silbaugh said at Tuesday's committee meeting. The result, suggested David Blake of the Colorado attorney general's office, is that the resilience of the medical-marijuana market "is being driven by avoidance of that tax." CNN Money's Katie Lobosco did this quick explainer on factors driving the lower-than-expected revenue. The medical marijuana market is one of them, but black market pot and homegrown cannabis also are undercutting the legal market.

Lobosco wrote: Some are likely procuring it under the table from medical marijuana patients who buy it on the up-and-up and then resell it illegally -- depriving the state of tax revenue. Plus, any Coloradan over 21 can grow up to six plants for personal use. If they are selling it on the black market, that's even more tax revenue the state's missing out on.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Oregonlive.com
Author: Noelle Crombie
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Website: Marijuana news: Is cheaper medical pot to blame for Colorado's lagging recreational marijuana revenue? | OregonLive.com
 
Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

Things to consider:

1) How did Colorado state officials arrive at a $33.5 million projected tax revenue for recreational cannabis sales?

I would think adult black market purchasers would really rather pay for cannabis legally because quality is important as is safety. Could it be that the projected taxes take into account lost federal subsidies and resources from the war on drugs?

2) In Colorado, how much of a difference in price is black market from medical sales?

If black market product is just as good and cheaper, then wouldn't sales drop from medical cannabis market?

3) Many families of serious and chronically ill patients are flocking to Colorado for medical purposes and are opting to stay because cannabis still remains a felony in the states they are fleeing from.

These are not tourists but new Colorado families who have loved ones that need medications to relieve chronic symptoms or life threatening illnesses so they can regain their quality of life and become product members of society.

4) Perhaps there are more serious and chronically ill people in Colorado at this point in time!

People who have life threatening and chronically debilitating disorders need to be constantly medicated to treat their illness. The type of medications they were on previously have serious side effects from long term usage. (i.e. prednisone, hydrocodone, methotrexate, etc.) Cannabis does not mess-up your bowels, bladder and other organs like these other legal medications.

Meanwhile, recreational cannabis users do not need to be inebriated constantly. Recreation is something you do for fun or relaxation once in awhile. You don't worry about needing a constant supply of medication like a medical patient.

For goodness sake, wake-up and smell the real tax dollars in the form of chronically and critically ill people becoming more functional and productive members of society.
 
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Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

Looks like the powers that be will try to curtail homegrows and access to the medical program before they try to lower those outrageous taxes.

Perhaps if the intersection of America's sick health care system and the medical cannabis industry was better understood, laws that are more fair and reasonable can be implemented.
 
Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

As a resident of rural Colorado, I grow my own (much as I grow probably half of the vegetables and fruit I eat in a year). I use it for arthritis in my lower back, and to enhance my quality of life in general; for both it has been wonderful. I laud the sales/tax revenues coming into the state, but I hope that fewer tax revenues wont be used as an excuse by the enemies of cannabis to try and move towards prohibition again. I have to wonder what effect legalization has had on the liquor industry. Money drives everything in the U.S., so I worry that the liquor industry may make moves to restrict cannabis use...
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

As a resident of rural Colorado, I grow my own (much as I grow probably half of the vegetables and fruit I eat in a year). I use it for arthritis in my lower back, and to enhance my quality of life in general; for both it has been wonderful. I laud the sales/tax revenues coming into the state, but I hope that fewer tax revenues wont be used as an excuse by the enemies of cannabis to try and move towards prohibition again. I have to wonder what effect legalization has had on the liquor industry. Money drives everything in the U.S., so I worry that the liquor industry may make moves to restrict cannabis use...
The industry that is most threatened (and there's are many) is the pharmaceutical industry.
They have been the ones paying for anti-cannabis scientific spokesmen.
Cannabis is used to reduce or replace a lot of (highly dangerous) prescription opiates like oxycontin.
Cannabis can also reduce or replace hormones, sleep aids, mood stabilizers, etc.

The folks who market permanent dependence on prescription drugs HATE medical cannabis.
 
Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

I've lived in Colorado for 2 years. When I purchase REC marijuana from a store the tax I PAY is around 23%!!! This does not include 15% excise tax payed by the grower/store to get the product on shelves. This 15% is not applied to medical mj and this cost is being passed on to the REC customer. This is why you see REC buds cost a lot more before tax and an even greater difference to medical after tax.

The black market safety argument isn't really an issue. People know people with medical cards just like before REC was legal. Most people buying "black market weed" are just people with medical friends who ask for a favor. There are some who grow to sell to black market but these are mostly caregivers(licensed growers) for medical patients or medical patients themselves trying to make a couple extra dollars on the side.

Lets not forget all the Coloradans who use cannabis medicinally yet for one reason or another cant or don't want to register as a medical user. They are forced to either pay more at a REC store or get it where they always have; Joe Cardholder across the street.

Amendment 64 passed with over 55% of vote did not have the 15% excise tax, the 10% retail tax or any of the local taxes added after it passed.

Thank all the idiots who voted for Prop AA for the additional 20-30% tax on REC and also for the thriving "black market" haha.
 
Re: Is Cheaper Medical Pot To Blame For Colorado's Lagging Recreational Marijuana Rev

Looks like the powers that be will try to curtail homegrows and access to the medical program before they try to lower those outrageous taxes.
That's the right statement there...TAXES! Looks like the state is taxing everything too much. How are you supposed to get rid of the "Black Market"when you're sending the supposed sales right to the Black Market with high taxes. Medical Marijuana users get a better break than the recreational users (and that's a good thing)but how about spreading some of that goodwill and 1)lower the prices of various increments or 2)lower the tax on the product and give it time to flourish. Because the way its going now, the "black market" will be here to stay both in Colorado and Washington state. I will say this though, Colorado has the better thought out law and plan that allows adults to grow their own (six plants max.)which is a really good deal. So I don't quite see how the black market is flourishing there like it is in Washington state.