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Pueblo County first Colorado county to report marijuana taxes

By: Associated Press
February 25, 2014 Updated: February 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm
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photo - FILE - Dylan Aragon of Pueblo celebrates his first legal pot purchase at Marisol Therapeutics in Pueblo West early Wednesday morning January1, 2014. The store opened at 8am to begin retail pot sales but some customers were in line as early as 2am. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
FILE - Dylan Aragon of Pueblo celebrates his first legal pot purchase at Marisol Therapeutics in Pueblo West early Wednesday morning January1, 2014. The store opened at 8am to begin retail pot sales but some customers were in line as early as 2am. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette  

DENVER — A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.

Pueblo County finance authorities announced Monday that its two shops had about $1 million in total sales in January, producing about $56,000 in local sales taxes.

Pueblo County is the only place between Denver and the New Mexico state line that currently allows recreational pot stores. Its two shops were joined by three more that opened in February.

"We recognize that the eyes of the world are watching us, and we are proud to have erected a robust regulatory environment in Pueblo County," County Commissioner Sal Pace said in a statement Tuesday.

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz projected the marijuana industry will generate roughly $670,000 in new tax revenue for his county this year. The money is a combination of a 3.5 percent pot sales tax approved by county voters last year, as well as "share-backs" from the state on general and pot-specific sales taxes.

If Pueblo's sales continue at the January pace, the county's pot industry will make about $11.2 million in gross sales in 2014, Ortiz projected. The county's total budget is about $165 million a year.

Colorado has more than 160 licensed recreational pot stores, all of whom had to report sales taxes Feb. 20. Most of the stores are in Denver County, which hasn't yet reported its January tax haul.

Pueblo County is the first local government to make its recreational marijuana sales tax totals public. Statewide totals are expected early next month.

Pueblo officials joked about the pot tax haul Monday in a county finance meeting.

"The irony is that the only new revenue we have coming in is in marijuana, and yet we have to open a new judicial building," Commissioner Liane "Buffie" McFadyen quipped, according to a report Tuesday in The (Pueblo) Chieftain.

County Budget and Finance Director Cal Hamler replied, "We're going to have to sell more weed."

"The irony is that the only new revenue we have coming in is in marijuana, and yet we have to open a new judicial building," Commissioner Liane "Buffie" McFadyen quipped, according to a report Tuesday in The (Pueblo) Chieftain.

County Budget and Finance Director Cal Hamler replied, "We're going to have to sell more weed."

 

During a work session on Monday, County Budget and Finance Director Cal Hamler told the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners that two recreational marijuana vendors turned in more than $32,000 in marijuana sales taxes on Friday, the deadline for January sales.

During the first month of retail sales, just two stores were open. The county taxes recreational marijuana sales at a rate of 3.5 percent, meaning total recreational sales in Pueblo County for January were just under $1 million.

But in addition to the recreational marijuana tax income, Hamler said the county collected $70,400 in licensing fees in January.

- See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/special/marijuana/2322853-120/marijuana-county-sales-recreational#sthash.T70oGwh4.dpuf

During a work session on Monday, County Budget and Finance Director Cal Hamler told the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners that two recreational marijuana vendors turned in more than $32,000 in marijuana sales taxes on Friday, the deadline for January sales.

During the first month of retail sales, just two stores were open. The county taxes recreational marijuana sales at a rate of 3.5 percent, meaning total recreational sales in Pueblo County for January were just under $1 million.

But in addition to the recreational marijuana tax income, Hamler said the county collected $70,400 in licensing fees in January.

- See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/special/marijuana/2322853-120/marijuana-county-sales-recreational#sthash.T70oGwh4.dpuf
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