Denver Passes Half-Billion-Dollar Mark for Cannabis Taxes and Industry Fees

The city of Denver, Colorado surpassed the half-billion mark for cannabis tax revenue and industry fees this summer, topping $501.5 million in August, Westword reports. The total includes all cannabis-derived tax revenues tracked by Excise & Licenses since 2010, which is when medical cannabis dispensaries began operating in the city.  

From 2010 to 2013, the city collected $26.2 million from a 3.62% tax on medical cannabis sales and business licensing fees. In 2014, when adult-use dispensaries began operating, the city collected $23.8 million through licensing fees and a 3.5% sales tax. In 2018, the city increased its tax to 5.5% to help fund local affordable housing programs and in 2021 the city saw its record-to-date for tax and fee collections with $72.9 million in revenue, the report says.    

According to an Excise & Licenses report earlier this year, outlined by Westword, the 2% increase on cannabis sales taxes for affordable housing provided nearly $38.8 million from late 2018 through 2022, which has helped pay for Denver Department of Housing Stability’s land acquisitions, unit development and production, housing assistance, and supportive housing services.  

In 2023, local cannabis tax revenues will fund $8 million in homelessness services, according to Excise & Licenses, and more than $8.7 million in affordable housing assistance and nearly $4.4 million in small-business investments, with more than $10 million for youth intervention, legal cannabis industry enforcement, regulator efforts, and public safety campaigns. 

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Denver Passes Half-Billion-Dollar Mark for Cannabis Taxes and Industry Fees

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