Recreational Marijuana: Ask Not What It Can Do for You, But What It Can Do for Your Country

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One of the more controversial topics in America right now is the legalization and use of recreational marijuana. Currently two states (Colorado and Washington) have legalized its use for individuals who are 21 years or older. Colorado collected slightly more than $2 million in taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana in the month of January (Ingold, 2014). Extrapolating from those figures, recreational marijuana businesses did slightly more than $14 million in retail sales during the month (Ingold, 2014). In this piece, Colorado will be used as the model for the current state of recreational marijuana, additional tax revenues that are being generated (statewide), savings that could be realized by the government, and what impacts it may …show more content…
However, these numbers only tell part of the story, next we’ll examine the allocation of these additional tax revenues and other fees collected throughout the application process.
With only 59 businesses filling tax returns, one might assume the number would have been higher – so why isn’t it? When applying through the state for a recreational marijuana dispensary, the following fees are due with the submission of the application:
State Application ($250), Local Authority Application ($250), Medical Marijuana Type 1/2/3 Center ($3,750-$14,000), Infused Product Manufacturer ($2,750), State testing application ($2,500), Local Authority Testing Application ($2,500), individual owner application ($1,000), a business license ($2,750) and an optional premises cultivation ($2,750). (colorado.gov, 2014)
If you filed for a medical marijuana type 1 center and didn’t apply for the optional premises cultivation fee, you’d be looking at a starting bill of $15,750. That figure is just for the paperwork, not including inventory you’ll need for the store, the space in which you’ll conduct your business, the legal fees that may be associated with the paperwork, or other startup costs associated with starting a new business. However, if you were to apply for a type 3 center and opted for the optional premises cultivation fee, you’re now looking at a total of $28,750. With

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