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It turns out there's a high price to pay for legalizing marijuana.
And it is no joke Colorado governor John Hickenlooper saying the state will be lucky to even breaks even.
Given a hefty hefty cost of regulation.
It is unchartered road with a lot of Americans waiting to see how they can make money on marijuana joining us now as Christians.
Ever -- a member of Colorado's amendment 64 task force.
There isn't coming on the show what what the governor said he think he's right.
Well thanks for having me you know -- I actually disagree with the governor on this one.
I understand his concerns and certainly we all -- concerns about the intended and unintended consequences but.
I think there's a lot of a lot of work to be done the the tax issue.
I think it's really going to actually bring a lot of revenue to Colorado.
Some estimates say sixty million in the first year in savings and taxes and double that in a couple years so.
They would have to wait and see what happens we just got finished with a long complex process of bringing forward a number of recommendations and the tax -- is just one of them so.
What do you think the tax rate would have to be -- make it worthwhile have you looked at any of the mouth.
Involving what it would take to regulate it.
Yet -- there's there's a number of different people looking at that specifically the legislative.
Well actually look at this and they'll come up with the number about it it's going to be a general fund appropriation most likely which means that -- be a well funded and sought regulatory group and you know we're talking five to seven million dollars I think -- the the initial rollout in the taxes well.
Certainly cover that and there's both the sales tax and an excise taxes sales taxes this -- sacrifice everything else but.
That tax along for for the State's gonna generate probably you know five to ten million dollars or more and then there's all the local sales taxes -- so.
He he thinks that a lot of the main driver of revenue in this state should really be tourism.
Related to skiing and that this gets in the way with that you bad do you buy that argument.
Yeah people you know people becoming a Colorado for a long time and that you know and they do come here I don't think this will be the first time that many of them have thought about using marijuana.
And and certainly I understand the concerns Breckenridge legalize marijuana several years ago at the local level and you know nothing happened -- not only did nothing happen you know it actually was listed as one of the top ten places to visit in the world after it happened so.
You know I think there's.
I understand -- concerns that certainly you know when a when a paradigm shift like this happens.
Everyone is gonna focus on what other issues are and and they're really gonna.
Stayed very very concerned about them until they realize that those concerns to be addressed a number of ways but yet we're we're I mean everyone's working hard this is going to be.
Huge process but I think it's gonna go a lot smoother than a lot of people anticipated -- that way.
The the point is that this you know the end of prohibition in Colorado on marijuana is going to be a net benefit by far.
Where recommendations go from here -- -- a state legislature still need to vote.
Yes -- -- exceed joint task it's a joint.
Committee on that that that -- -- -- the senate and house members from RR Colorado.
Legislature they're gonna look at all the recommendations I think there's seventy some of them.
And they're gonna kind of taken up and down vote based upon you know whether -- their legitimate dissenting opinions things like that and then.
That will be that that will -- go to committees in our legislature and go to the democratic process so.
Even though there's the recommendations were very thoughtful I think that there is certainly an opportunity to -- them make them better and an add to them to make sure this process.
As a model for the rest of the country you do decide to go the same direction yeah.
I mean some people are -- about a 15% excise tax there's also suggested sales tax is it possible that you tax it too much.
And drive it back to the black market.
I'd say that that's my biggest concern and and certainly people on you know that support -- the amendment but the up to 15% excise tax contemplated.
You know -- an amount of money to be brought in and certainly contemplated.
That being a reasonable number and -- a sales tax on top of that it does make sense.
But you have to make sure that if your transition from an underground market into a regulated market.
That the underground market doesn't have a substantial price advantage and taxes as we -- know.
Are always about some of the consumer so that that's going to be.
An issue if we over taxes and that's a huge concern among the trees -- Christian how much support would you say is there for your position.
Vs the governors in the state.
You know I mean I like 55% of coloradans voted for this it was an overwhelming majority of people that said that our prohibition -- policies have failed.
I think that the concerns -- governors processor sure people are concerned you know I'm from here from the second of six kids that got nieces nephews and and they're all asking the important questions and I think most people are taking the responsible sort of wait and see approach and I'm sure the governor the governor's understand -- you know he.
He operated in a regulated market where -- sold beer through his brew pubs and he understands that these substances you know substances that people use to.
Enjoy themselves responsibly.
They work best in -- regulated market he's been a participant in -- market in the past and the united -- stands that that this is the market for itself Kristin thanks so much for coming on the show.
That's -- thanks for having me right next.
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