Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
11:54 a.m. MST February 11, 2015In this file photo, a caregiver picks out a marijuana bud for a patient at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. The Department of Revenue posted its first full year of pot tax data for 2014 on Tuesday.(Photo: Ed Andrieski/AP)DENVER – Colorado finally learned Tuesday how much tax revenue it collected from recreational marijuana in the first year of sales, and the haul was below estimates — about $44 million.The release of December sales taxes gave Colorado its first full calendar year of the taxes from recreational pot sales, which began Jan. 1, 2014.Colorado was the first government anywhere in the world to regulate marijuana production and sale, so other governments are watching closely. In Washington, where legal pot sales began in July, the state had hauled in about $16.4 million in marijuana excise taxes by the end of the year; through November, it brought in an additional $6.3 million in state and local sales and business taxes.Colorado’s total haul from marijuana for 2014 was about $76 million. That includes fees on the industry, plus pre-existing sales taxes on medical marijuana products. The $44 million represents only new taxes on recreational pot.Those new taxes were initially forecast to bring in about $70 million.”Everyone who thinks Colorado’s rollin’ in the dough because of marijuana? That’s not true,” said state Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat and one of the Legislature’s main budget-writers.By all accounts, the $70 million estimate was a guess. And Colorado has already adjusted downward spending of the taxes, on everything from substance-abuse treatment to additional training for police officers.Still, Colorado will likely have to return to voters to ask to keep the pot tax money. That’s because of a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that restricts government spending. The amendment requires new voter-approved taxes, such as the pot taxes, to be refunded if overall state tax collections rise faster than permitted.Lawmakers from both parties are expected to vote this spring on a proposed ballot measure asking Coloradans to let the state keep pot taxes.Colorado’s tax results underscore a big conflict facing public … – Click Here To Visit Article Source