Create a free Cannabis Equipment News account to continue

Colorado Sales Tax Increase Rejected

Proposition 119 would have increased the state’s cannabis tax rate to fund educational programs.

Cannabis dispensary in Aspen, Colo., June 2019.
Cannabis dispensary in Aspen, Colo., June 2019.

Voters in Colorado on Tuesday rejected a referendum that would have increased the state’s tax on marijuana sales.

Proposition 119 proposed phasing in a 5-percentage-point increase in the tax levied on retail cannabis by 2024, the Denver Post reports. The increase was slated to begin at 3% in 2022 and increase by 1 percentage point in each of the following two years.

The measure was rejected by more than 54% of voters, according to results as of Wednesday morning, and organizers conceded defeat.

The proceeds would have helped fund out-of-school programs for Colorado children, particularly those from low-income households. Proponents argued it would help ease the state’s achievement gap between higher- and lower-income levels.

Critics countered that the measure lacked transparency and suggested that the state’s current 15% tax rate was already high. Peter Marcus, a spokesman for Boulder cannabis company Terrapin, said following the vote that the measure would have made the industry “a piggy bank for out-of-state special interest projects.”

“Coloradans understand that lawmakers struck an appropriate balance when they planned for cannabis taxes,” Marcus said in a statement. “Disrupting that system would only set successful regulation back.”

More in News