Denver hikes marijuana tax to fund affordable housing

DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock said Tuesday was a “historic day” for the City and County of Denver.

Hancock signed into law an ordinance raising the local marijuana 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 more than 6,000 units.

Including state taxes, Denver’s marijuana tax rate is about 25 percent.

“It’s horrible to think. I think it’s the worst thing I’ve heard, period. Why is it s high?” said Cross Ravara, a frequent cannabis user. “With taxes going up that high, it would definitely push us to another source."

“Overtaxing anyone in any situation in Denver is always a concern," Hancock said. "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,."

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,” a customer said.

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