DENVER, Colo. (KCNC/CNN) – In Colorado, not as many people are buying recreational pot as predicted.
And that means the high tax revenues state lawmakers thought would be rolling in are not.
With seemingly everyone wanting a cut of Colorado’s pot taxes, for the first time, the joint budget committee took up the debate over how to dole the dollars out. And new numbers show sales aren’t quite the what the state expected.
Not only are sales lower than projected, so too are the number of businesses approved to sell it.
The state expected to approve one-hundred-ten businesses the first month.
Only about half that number, 59, were approved as of February 1.
“They missed the mark and so the volatility unpredictability of this revenue stream is why I think responsible prudent thing to do is spend these moneys in rears looking at last year’s actual collection,” Pat Steadman, (D) Co. General Assembly said.
Meaning they won’t spend money they don’t have yet, except this year.
The budget committee will create a mini-budget for the tax dollars collected in the first six months – an estimated 20-million dollars.
Far below the 54-million the governor budgeted for.
Like the governor, the committee plans to put much of the money toward prevention programs to protect kids.
But, the legislature will have the final say.
“If there’s going to be amendments, feeding frenzies, shopping sprees, and lots of lobbying that goes on around this so be it,” Steadman said.