The City of Denver has received about $180 million in marijuana tax dollars and fees. This year the city changed how the marijuana money would be used. In 2018, the city allowed $12 million of that money to go toward improving parks, opioid abuse intervention programs, affordable housing and repaving the roads.
In 2019, even more marijuana money will be spent, The Denver Post reports. Some of that tax money will continue to help opioid abuse programs but some of it will also go toward capital projects. The tax on recreational marijuana sales will also increase 2% to 5.5%.
The 2% increase will help the affordable housing efforts in adding about $9 million annually to this coffer.
Kendra Black, chairperson of the council committee working on marijuana issues, said, “I’ve only thought the revenue should be used for a social good — like affordable housing or homelessness. Something where the residents of Denver can see that this sin tax is going to fund a community good.”
There are 216 marijuana retailers with some catering to both recreational and medical marijuana patients. The City of Denver could reap a $47 million benefit from 2018 sales alone.