(April 25) – A bill to fund a thorough state regulatory system to keep adult-use marijuana out of the hands of kids and criminals cleared its first legislative hurdle this afternoon.

HB13-1318, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), sets up a statewide referendum on sales and excise taxes of up to 15 percent on retail marijuana. The proceeds will be divided among the public school capital construction fund, local governments and to pay the operating expenses of the Marijuana Enforcement Division, which will regulate the legalized marijuana production, sale and consumption that were mandated by the voters of Colorado when they approved Amendment 64 last November.

Rep. Singer told the Finance Committee that the bill’s tax caps had to be high enough to fund a robust regulatory system, but not so high that they would encourage people to turn to the black market.

He said that without the bill, “we won’t actually be able to implement a model that will assure that our local communities are kept safe.”

The Finance Committee moved HB13-1318 to the Appropriations Committee on a 7-6 vote.

Also heard by the Finance Committee today was HB13-1317, Assistant Majority Leader Dan Pabon’s bill to establish the key components of the state’s regulatory framework for retail marijuana. It was sent to the Appropriations Committee on a 7-6 vote.

A third bill, rounding up the unanimously approved recommendations of the Amendment 64 Task Force, has begun moving through the Senate.

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