Higher Learning: Colorado County Mulls Scholarship Pot Tax

DENVER (AP) — Talk about higher learning. A Colorado county may create the world’s first public college scholarship program funded with marijuana money.

Pueblo County is considering a 5 percent excise tax on marijuana growers, with half the proceeds designated to a scholarship fund that boosters say would be the first of its kind.

County Commissioner Sal Pace, the sponsor of the tax measure, says it could produce a couple million dollars a year. The full commission will vote on his proposal next week, and if approved, voters would have to approve the excise tax in November before it would take effect.

“What the concept is, is to create the world’s first college scholarships funded by marijuana growers,” Pace said.

Fifty percent of the proposed excise tax would be divided among Pueblo County high school graduates who stay in the county for college.

Pace called his proposed pot scholarship a natural next step for marijuana legalization. The statewide pot-legalization measure specifically mentioned schools as a beneficiary of pot taxes.

“These are the type of promises folks expected when they approved” marijuana, Pace said.

Pace guessed the excise tax measure could produce a couple million dollars a year. It’s too soon to say how much each student would receive, though Pace guessed it might be about $500.

The fund would be limited for at least the first year to county residents that go on to college in the county, either at Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo. Currently that’s about 400 students.

The other half of the proposed excise tax would be assigned to a long list of county capital improvements, such as spiffing up the streets around the Colorado State Fairgrounds located in town. The county list also includes repairing an elementary school playground and repairing bike trails at Pueblo Reservoir.

Pace didn’t worry that the excise tax – which would boost overall taxes on marijuana wholesalers to 20 percent – would chill the county’s booming pot-growing trade. Many growers in recent months have shifted production away from Denver-area warehouses, where real estate is pricier and indoor growing requires hefty electricity bills.

“It won’t be a tax that drives away producers,” Pace said. “Land is cheaper here, water is available, the sunshine is free and there’s an available workforce.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Read More

The Primary Colors of Cannabis

The first modern cannabis hybrid was created in the summer of 1969 in the Santa Cruz mountains by a surfer we only know by his first initial “G”, and legend has it that he crossed together three varieties from Colombia and created what the world has come to know as Original Haze.
Read More

OhGeesy Lets His Work Ethic Speak For Itself

The Mexican-American hip-hop star talks about early music influences, being an inspiration to his son, his latest album GEEZYWORLD 2, and weed as an economic tool.
Read More

Calm in Your Cup

Denver-based Lavender Coffee Boutique has big plans for CBD wellness, education, and craft coffee-drinkers.
Read More

Getting All of Comedian Joel Kim Booster

The Loot and Big Mouth star opens up on stand-up comedy, his creative process, and how he wrote Hulu’s Fire Island on a gram of Super Lemon Haze.
Read More

From the Archives: ATTICA! ATTICA! (1991)

The young, supple digital editor of High Times found out only recently about the Attica Prison riot of 1971 and is very glad to know that our beloved magazine covered the story on its 20th anniversary.