By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado counties and local governments have come to an agreement on a distribution plan for money from a major opioid settlement. $385 million will soon make its way into local Colorado government coffers.

(credit: Getty Images)


Johnson & Johnson and the nation’s three largest drug distributors will pay Colorado hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years as part of the agreement. Also part of the agreement was that a majority of county and city governments in each state agree to a distribution plan for the money. All 64 Colorado counties and nearly 100% of the municipalities have come to an agreement well ahead of the January 26th deadline.

“By bringing together this amazing level of local government support well in advance of the January 26th sign-on deadline, Colorado is demonstrating its collaborative problem-solving culture and commitment to combating the opioid epidemic,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a statement. “As a result, we as a state will be poised to act on our opioid response plan as soon as settlement dollars come to our state.”

Phil Weiser (credit: CBS)

Money from the Johnson & Johnson settlement will be paid to Colorado governments over nine years. The majority of the dollars will come in the first three years, with the first payment set to arrive here later in 2022. Money from the drug distributors will take longer, arriving in payments over the next 18 years. Colorado has already received more than $8 million of a $10 million with distributor McKinsey & Company. The money will go directly to municipal governments, bypassing the state government.


Ben Warwick