DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver City Council is pushing ahead with a plan to tax recreational marijuana, and that tax could go sky high in the future.

Twelve votes from Denver City Council members means a marijuana sales tax bill will be on the ballot for Denver voters this fall. Constituents will decide if the retail marijuana tax should initially be 3.5 percent. The bill also asks voters to give the city council the power to lower or raise the tax rate up to 15 percent without further voter approval.

There was public comment at Monday night’s meeting but council members say they are satisfied with the bill and confident voters will approve it.”

“If sales of marijuana are vigorous when this tax is in place I will have no problem coming back to this council and increasing this tax rate as an opportunity to achieve some of the goals of this city,” Councilwoman Robin Kniech said.

Initially the tax revenue will cover the regulatory framework to support recreational marijuana like police enforcement and licensing costs. In the future, extra revenue could fund other city needs like an increase in low-income housing.

In the first year the city says it expects more than $1 million in tax revenue.

The city’s Amendment 64 committee also met Monday. It continues to hammer out specific regulations for recreational marijuana in Denver.

The city council will vote on the licensing requirements next month.


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