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October 22, 2010

How Rolling a Fattie is Saving the Economy.

Boulder marijuana sales tax revenues hit record high

Marijuana has issued a throw down to prohibitionists. The Boulder Daily Camera reports medical MJ is fattening city coffers in a serious way.

Boulder’s medical marijuana industry continues to boom, with dispensaries and greenhouses recently posting their highest sales since the city began issuing sales tax licenses for the drug last year.

According to the city’s latest tally, businesses related to medical marijuana accounted for $54,589 in sales tax during the month of August — the highest single-month collection from the industry.

The August taxes represent about $1.6 million worth of medicinal marijuana sales.

So far this year, medical marijuana businesses have contributed a total of $314,862 to the city’s coffers, representing about $9.23 million worth of product.

Boulder collected about $74,000 from the industry in 2009. The city began issuing sales tax licenses to dispensaries in October last year.

Bob Eichem, Boulder’s finance director, said the city anticipated tax revenue from medical marijuana this year would fall somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000.

“It looks like we’re not going to be too far off,” Eichem said. “We’ve got four more months to go, so it’s possible we’re going to be close to that $400,000 to $500,000.”

On the high end of the estimates, Boulder’s marijuana sales would have to top $14.6 million by the end of the year.

Because the city expected the new revenue, Eichem said it hasn’t been considered a “windfall” for the cash-strapped city.

But while the marijuana industry accounts only for only 0.5 percent of the city’s annual tax collections, without it the city would have had to cut an equivalent amount from this year’s budget, he said.

That means the city is “very glad” to have the extra cash, Eichem said.

For the full story and tax stats, visit the Daily Camera site.

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