Tax-Free Marijuana Holiday Draws Crowds and Criticism

By October 2, 2015Thomas Law Firm


It is still several months until the next 4/20, but for Colorado pot smokers, 9/16 was just as worthy of celebration. Thanks to a quirk in the state constitution, sales taxes on marijuana were removed on 9/16, allowing partakers and dispensaries far more bang for their buck. In the spirit of Black Friday, we’ll call it Green Wednesday.

The legislation that led to the tax holiday is the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Because Colorado’s economy is doing so well right now, state spending has exceeded projections. And when projections are exceeded, refunds are necessary and the tax rate must be cut to zero. Thus, tax-free marijuana! The state is expected to lose out on roughly $3.7 million in taxes for the holiday, but it is part of the state Constitution so it cannot be avoided.

Sellers of marijuana were also excused from their 15 percent tax on sales made to dispensaries.

9/16 – The New 4/20?

Don’t get your hopes up for an annual September smokefest, though – Sen. Pat Steadman made it clear that this was a one-time problem and will not happen again. That doesn’t mean your legal bud won’t be getting cheaper – in July 2017, the state will institute a permanent sales tax break on recreational marijuana, taking the taxes from 10 percent to 8 percent. By moderating taxes in this way, according to Gov. John Hickenlooper, the marijuana black market becomes less attractive to consumers, keeping the bud business under the control of the state and bringing in those taxes to help our schools and other programs.

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