Colorado’s missing marijuana taxes

Colorado’s missing marijuana taxes

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Colorado is missing $21.5 million in pot taxes.

Voters legalized retail marijuana (pot for everyone, not just medical patients) in 2012. And they were told the state wouldpull in $33.5 million from two new taxes in the first six months of 2014. It turns out, the projections were way off. Here’s why.

Pot smokers are still buying on the black market: The state thought more people would migrate out of the black market. But only 60% of people who want pot in Colorado this year will buy it through legal channels, according to an estimate from the Marijuana Policy Group.

One big reason: Legal pot costs a lot more than illegal pot — mostly because of taxes and fees.

Legal retail marijuana is taxed more than 27%, so it’s easily cheaper on the black market.

And there’s more than one way smokers are scoring pot without paying taxes.

Some are likely procuring it under the table from medical marijuana patients who buy it on the up-and-up and then resell it illegally — depriving the state of tax revenue. Read More…