BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Local governments in Colorado are trying to generate more revenue by targeting medical marijuana dispensaries.
Breckenridge is one of the cities proposing a tax on pot on next month’s ballot. The ballot measure calls for an extra 5 percent added to medical marijuana sales on top of sales tax. The money will go directly to the Town of Breckenridge.
Dispensaries feel it’s unfair to tax medicine.
The town defends its actions by stating the revenue is necessary to recover additional legal costs it has after allowing dispensaries to operate.
“The tax came about because we, over the past few years, that it’s been an issue in Colorado, we’ve spent a lot of time on it,” said Town of Breckenridge spokesman Kim Dykstra-Dilallo.
Breckenridge has already decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. But the city said understanding the law has been costly for the town attorney.
The dispensaries believe that it’s just an unnecessary and ambiguous fee.
“It’s a tax above and beyond the sales tax we already pay for medical cannabis in Breckenridge,” said Breckenridge Cannabis Club spokesman Brian Rogers.
If passed, patients would pay a tax of roughly 14 percent for their medicine.
“I think an excise tax on medical anything isn’t necessary. Excise taxes should be used on sinful purchases that have a detriment on society or the environment. Medical cannabis doesn’t seem to have any detriment on society as a whole,” said Rogers.
The city said any left over funds from the tax will go back to the patients.
“If there are any dollars left over then we will put that into a fund that will actually fund substance abuse challenges,” said Dykstra-Dilallo.