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Sensi: Cannabis Tax Dollars and School Construction

Posted: July 17, 2017 at 1:35 pm by , in Breaking News, Featured, How On Earth, Marijuana News

Leland Rucker, senior editor at Sensi Magazine takes a look at how marijuana is starting to impact the state in monetary ways.

“We talked a couple months ago about the Board of Pueblo County Commissioners approving a contract to make available an estimated $475,000 for what it calls “the world’s first cannabis-funded scholarship” for entering college freshmen. Those scholarship funds will be available to students starting college this fall. According to the release, $425,000 of that funding is derived from cannabis excise tax revenue collected in Pueblo County, while an additional $49,664 is from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.”

In addition, schools around the state are seeing money coming into their budget for school construction projects.

“One of the requirements of Amendment 64 was that $40 million dollars in marijuana excise taxes were to be used for school construction projects. By 2015-16, $80 million in marijuana tax revenue was injected into the program. That included a one-time $40 million payment after Colorado voters decided two years ago to keep and spend more than $66 million in excess marijuana sales revenue.”

The state says another $40 million was injected into BEST projects in 2016-17 and another $40 million is projected for the next fiscal year.

In Deer Trail, for instance, a town of only 570 on the plains east of Denver, a $34 million pre-K-12 campus will take shape over the next two years, thanks in part to an injection of marijuana sales funding through

Some people in Deer Trail and elsewhere might have personal objections to cannabis, but state and local school officials aren’t getting negative feedback about tax revenues going to school construction, and nobody is turning down the money.

The 27 recipients of the nearly $300 million in BEST construction grants for 2017-2018 were in rural school districts, including the Brush School District, and Del Norte.