Colorado collected $78 million in marijuana taxes last year.
That sounds like a lot of money, right? But the Colorado Fiscal Institute says it's by no means a panacea for the state, which has an annual budget of roughly $26 billion.
Consider this graph from CFI, which shows marijuana revenue in relation to the overall budget:
CFI Economist Chris Stiffler joined Colorado Matters Host Ryan Warner as the state starts a new fiscal year.
Five Interesting Tidbits About Marijuana Tax Revenue
- This year, Colorado is poised to receive around $100 million in pot tax revenue.
- The first $40 million in tax revenue, by law, is earmarked for schools. However, no money can be used for teachers or classroom instruction.
- It's funneled into BEST -Building Excellent Schools Today- Grants for capital improvements. Examples include fixing roofs or alleviating overcrowding.
- And while all Colorado schools can apply for the grants, the limited supply of funds means typically rural and poorer schools benefit.
- The remaining revenue is allocated for: health care, health education, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, and law enforcement.
- Spending the money on other purposes requires a change in the law.