June 12th Colorado’s marijuana industry announced it has grown in sales volume every year since retail legalization in 2014. Amendment 64 passed in 2012.
Because we have spent so much time and resources over the past 5 years explaining to our voters that the marijuana money did not go to schools the way they thought it did, we want to make sure this news today does not add to the myth. Please read on.
“To date, marijuana tax, license and fee revenue has reached just over $1.02 billion and marijuana sales to date exceeded $6.56 billion” per the press release distributed by Melissa Schiller of Cannabis Dispensary. https://www.cannabisdispensarymag.com/article/colorado-marijuana-industry-revenue-surpasses-one-billion/
Unfortunately, in that same press release liberties are taken with just how much of the pot money has actually gone to schools. (These kind of liberties were taken during the campaign to pass Amendment 64 and attributed to misleading voters into believing they were solving the funding problem for public schools by passing the legislation.) As a matter-of-fact, by omitting the numbers, they (the marijuana folks) seem to imply this is where all the tax revenue dollars have gone.
“Marijuana tax revenue funds Colorado Department of Education programs such as the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) capital construction assistance fund, as well as the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program, School Health Professional Grant Program and the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program.”
Here are the real numbers per our friends at Great Ed Colorado
$270 million marijuana tax revenue appropriated to schools. Of that,
$180 milion BEST grants for capital construction (Building Excellent Schools Today), and
$ 90 million General Operating Costs.
We have spent a lot of time busting the myth around the “Marijuana Money” and continue to answer the question weekly, if not daily. If you want more information or greater detail, you can find it on our website under Funding Basics 101, titled The Marijuana Mystery, Solved Again.
So, just to be clear, the education community truly appreciates the tax revenue dollars that are received via the Marijuana Money, but if you think it solved our funding issues for our public schools in this state – It. Did. Not.