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Spend or save? Marijuana tax debate far from settled

Associated Press Updated: April 14, 2014 at 5:55 pm

DENVER — Colorado's legal pot industry may be booming, but state lawmakers aren't sure how to spend the windfall.

A legislative budget committee decided not to vote Monday on a $54 million plan from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to spend marijuana revenues on education and outreach. The governor wants to spend recreational pot taxes to fund everything from increased drug-prevention outreach to a new study on marijuana use by pregnant women.

But lawmakers from both parties fear uncertainty in the marijuana industry. The budget committee grilled an administration official about the pot-spending plan. Lawmakers said they are worried about volatility and yo-yo pot revenues. They are considering a bill to delay most marijuana spending a year.

The governor's budget forecasters are more bullish on the pot industry than lawmakers.

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