To us, it’s more like a Starbucks for stoners. We follow the line inside through a quiet, dentist office-like reception area where IDs are checked. Miley Cyrus plays on surround-sound as customers peruse the merchandise (ashtrays, t-shirts, pot leaf-shaped chess sets) and watch six different live streams of the marijuana plants at Green Solution’s grow house on a flat screen TV, while waiting to be individually escorted around the room by a smiling “budtender.” [The Daily Beast]
THE FIRST month of the Colorado pot market shows it’s lucrative, even if it’s a fledgling industry that still has to navigate banking and credit card challenges, as well as the federal government’s current laws that run contrary to state.
In the first month of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, retailers who shared their proprietary data with NBC News say they have collected $1.24 million in tax revenue. Half of the state’s 35 licensed recreational retailers participated in the NBC News survey. The 18 retailers shared the first 27 days of their tax data because they say they believe it will help their image. [NBC News]
The taxes associated with legal weed buying are serious, but no one seems to care. The issue for sellers is inventory!
“Elected officials around the country are watching what’s happening in Colorado and they’re recognizing that there’s a better way to handle marijuana,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for legally regulated marijuana. “And by regulating its sale and having taxes paid on it, it’s a much more sensible approach.”
Tvert believes the so-called “Colorado experiment” will be even more impressive in the coming months because, “obviously this is just the first month of sales and only a fraction of the businesses that are expected to be open are currently operating.”
[...] All sales are assessed the standard state sales tax of 2.9 percent, plus there’s a special state sales and excise tax, and there’s also an extra local sales and excise tax in many cities.
In Denver, those taxes add up to nearly 29 percent.
Pot nannies harp on the so-called addiction aspect of marijuana. No doubt addiction is serious, but making laws to protect the minority who cannot control themselves is a bad way to make laws.
Prohibition on alcohol failed miserably and there’s few substances abused more than booze.
Prohibition on pot has failed as well. Now our political lawmakers have to figure out how to regulate it and tax it, because the federal laws in place right now aren’t going to hold once states find out what Colorado has already learned.
There’s gold for state purposes in those pungent buds, and where there’s tax revenue to be made politicians will be forced to follow.