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Colorado county reports first month's pot sales tax income

By Kristen Wyatt

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:05 p.m. HST, Feb 25, 2014


DENVER >> A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.

Pueblo County finance authorities announced Monday that its two shops had about $1 million in total sales in January, producing about $56,000 in local sales taxes.

Pueblo County is the only place between Denver and the New Mexico state line that currently allows recreational pot stores. Its two shops were joined by three more that opened in February.

"We recognize that the eyes of the world are watching us, and we are proud to have erected a robust regulatory environment in Pueblo County," County Commissioner Sal Pace said in a statement Tuesday.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz projected the marijuana industry will generate roughly $670,000 in new tax revenue for his county this year. The money is a combination of a 3.5 percent pot sales tax approved by county voters last year, as well as "share-backs" from the state on general and pot-specific sales taxes.

If Pueblo's sales continue at the January pace, the county's pot industry will make about $11.2 million in gross sales in 2014, Ortiz projected. The county's total budget is about $165 million a year.

Colorado has more than 160 licensed recreational pot stores, all of whom had to report sales taxes Feb. 20. Most of the stores are in Denver County, which hasn't yet reported its January tax haul.

Pueblo County is the first local government to make its recreational marijuana sales tax totals public. Statewide totals are expected early next month.

Pueblo officials joked about the pot tax haul Monday in a county finance meeting.

"The irony is that the only new revenue we have coming in is in marijuana, and yet we have to open a new judicial building," Commissioner Liane "Buffie" McFadyen quipped, according to a report Tuesday in The (Pueblo) Chieftain.

County Budget and Finance Director Cal Hamler replied, "We're going to have to sell more weed."







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noheawilli wrote:
Legalize it, end the drug war on all drugs
on February 25,2014 | 11:17AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Meanwhile, in Hawaii, our state senate is planning on creating a special tax on health insurance.
on February 25,2014 | 11:35AM
cojef wrote:
Add insult to injury or rub salt in the wounds.
on February 25,2014 | 11:39AM
juscasting wrote:
Pueblo county about 45 minute drive South East from the Springs. Nice big city, the Universtiy there is about twice the size of UH, probably will be 10 times bigger in a couple of years! Instead we here are still chanting, "bucks fo Lo Lo's!"
on February 25,2014 | 12:48PM
HanabataDays wrote:
... when we should be shouting "Tax bucks for Pakalolo!"
on February 25,2014 | 01:31PM
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