Denver mulls how to spend marijuana tax revenue


Denver on 4/20.

One of the biggest arguments for the passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64 was the potential tax revenue limited recreational marijuana sales would generate — and last week, the Denver City Council Government and Finance Committee met to discuss how to spend the city’s share of money.
City Budget Manager Brendan Hanlon and Executive Director of Marijuana Policy Ashley Kilroy outlined a plan proposed by Mayor Michael Hancock that would divvy up the estimated $3.5 million Denver is due to receive this year from retail marijuana taxes.

The proposal earmarks almost $1.8 million of the tax revenue for the regulation of Denver’s recreational marijuana industry, $825,000 for more law enforcement positions and $746,000 for public education and studies on the risks and effects of marijuana.
“This is a new industry and we’re at the forefront of it,” Kilroy said during the meeting, which the Mayor did not attend. “So far we’ve focused on issues that are safety-related.”
The funding set aside for regulation would be used to hire retail marijuana administrators such as health inspectors for growing operations and edible manufacturing, fire safety inspectors, tax auditors and other mundane but essential positions.
The funding for recreational enforcement calls for hiring new police officers, forensic scientists and a detective, as well as more positions at the City Attorney’s Office. All of the 22 positions are limited to a maximum duration of two years, Hanlon said.
Read more over at the Denver Westword.