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City pot moratorium, and state sales tax figures

CannaBiz

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Heavy hit from city

Colorado Springs has taken a hard-line stance against cannabis clubs — and may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. In an emergency resolution proposed Monday, Sept. 21, the city declared an emergency six-month moratorium on new cannabis clubs, pending updated land use and/or zoning regulations. Considering the lack of clear conclusions at the stakeholders' meeting discussed in last week's CannaBiz, and considering Councilor Jill Gaebler's early departure from that meeting, the city's "wait and see" approach on clubs should come as no surprise.

But this resolution also bans the city from "the processing of any land use approval for a new medical marijuana facility within the city limits." The text of the resolution claims processing such approvals without revising land use and zoning regulations first "will cause irreparable harm to the public health, safety and welfare."

According to a Facebook post by Councilor Bill Murray, the proposed moratorium text he and Council received Tuesday morning as part of their regular-meeting agenda package was very different from what they'd discussed Monday.

"I would not have had a problem with the [moratorium on cannabis clubs], but to suggest that any 'additional' medical marijuana facilities would cause irreparable harm is not only disingenuous but a clear violation of the use of emergency powers for an agenda that should be part of a comprehensive public discussion," Murray said in his post. "The City Council has had almost 12 months to work on concrete proposals to resolve these issues, yet has placed neither importance nor priority on its resolution."

As of press time, the City Council had not yet voted on the resolution. For updates on the decision click here.

Getting green

Colorado made more money from marijuana than alcohol between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, according to a Sept. 20 story from the Times of India. During that period, the state made $70 million in marijuana tax revenue, compared to only $42 million with alcohol. Of course, that $70 mil includes general sales tax, whereas the $42 million figure does not — Colorado doesn't track general sales tax from alcohol separately.

With that in mind, Sept. 16 was Colorado's one-time marijuana tax holiday. Across the state, recreational buyers were not charged the usual 10 percent state sales tax. Dispensaries also saved a chunk of change — the 15 percent tax they pay for purchases from wholesalers was also waived.

According to a spokesperson for Maggie's Farm, "[It was] a record day. It exceeded our expectations."

Caitlin Murphy, Emerald Fields' head of marketing, said she was "thrilled with the number of people who came out."

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