May 30, 2013 1:57 PM by Andy Koen

Study says marijuana taxes will miss $40 million target for schools

DENVER - Colorado voters may not get the $40 million a year they were promised for new school construction under Amendment 64, even with a proposed 15 percent excise tax on the cultivation of retail marijuana.

Instead, a study by the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University projects the tax will yield $21.7 million dollars for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Program.

The study authors estimate the market for adult retail marijuana to be 642,772 people in 2014. Using a wholesale cost estimate of $600 per pound of marijuana, the projected market size is simply too small to adequately meet the $40 million mark.

However, the authors also point out their estimate will likely be lower than reality due to the lack of reliable data estimating marijuana consumption by people under the age of 21 and by tourists.

In its conclusion, the paper also casts doubt on the long term sustainability of marijuana taxes to adequately fund state regulatory and enforcement agencies.

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