Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Tuesday was a “historic day” for the City and County of Denver.
Hancock signed into law a new ordinance raising the local cannabis tax from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent. The increase is expected to double the number of affordable housing units created by the city’s housing fund over the next five years. It’s estimated the hike will preserve or create over 6,000 units.
When you factor in state taxes, that means Denver’s cannabis tax rate is now around 25% or $25 dollars for $100 worth of cannabis.
“It’s horrible to think. I think it’s the worst thing I’ve heard, period. Why is it so high?” Cross Ravara, a frequent cannabis user, said.
“With taxes going up that high it would definitely push us to another source,” Ravara said, suggesting users would think about going to other localities for cannabis or even the black market.
So does Denver run the risk of overtaxing cannabis users with this new hike?
Mayor Hancock doesn’t think so.
“Overtaxing anyone in any situation in Denver is always a concern. This was done in partnership and understanding with the industry and the customers. We would not have done it if the industry didn’t indicate they could handle it,” Hancock said.
Back at Peak Dispensary, other cannabis users suggested they would pay whatever to enjoy the drug legally.
“I don’t really care personally, just because I like that I can get it legally,” Evan, a Peak customer, said.