Taxes on recreational marijuana legalized in Colorado could be so high that recreational users may continue to rely on illegal sales. As HuffPo reported Monday:
The House-Senate committee, which will introduce a bill this week drafted from the 58 recommendations that the pot task force issued last month with taxes being one of several issues the committee is considering, would ask voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and a 15 percent special sales tax. Those rates plus existing local and state tax rates — for food and beverage sales in Denver, the the combined total tax rate is 8 percent — could mean a total tax rate 0f 38 percent on marijuana purchases in the Denver area.
Currently, medical marijuana is taxed like all food and beverage sales are and fluctuates from county to county, in Denver that rate is just 8 percent.
The proposed Colorado taxes are markedly higher than the taxes placed on recreational marijuana in the only other legalization state — Washington. At present, Washington state’s Initiative 502 legalized small amounts of marijuana and marijuana products for people 21 and older and established a 25 percent excise tax on those products.