(April 30) – The House approved a bill today to provide the funding for a robustly regulated retail marijuana industry.
HB13-1318, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), was approved on a 37-27 party-line vote. It asks the voters to fund the new regulatory structure without using general fund dollars, but by making marijuana consumers foot the bill through an excise tax of up to 15 percent and an extra sales tax of up to 10 percent – later rising to a 15 percent cap — on retail marijuana. As directed by Amendment 64, the first $40 million of the proceeds will go to the public school capital construction fund.
Two other bills — HB13-1317, sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Dan Pabon (D-Denver), and a Senate bill, SB13-283 — establish the regulatory structure for the retail marijuana industry mandated by the voters last year when they approved Amendment 64. Without Rep. Singer’s bill, the state will have no money to fund marijuana regulation.
“It’s vitally important that we provide the resources to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids and cartels,” Rep. Singer said. “The voters of Colorado have legalized marijuana. It’s our job to make sure we create and enforce rules and regulations that keep our streets safe and protect nonusers, especially our kids.”