Pot prices going up Saturday thanks to state tax increase | SteamboatToday.com

Pot prices going up Saturday thanks to state tax increase

Starting Saturday, the cost of recreational marijuana will go up a bit in Steamboat Springs and around the state, thanks to a tax hike.

State legislators recently approved the 2.1 percent tax increase in a bill that aimed to help balance the budget and provide more funding to rural schools.

The excise tax increase will not apply to medical marijuana sales or to any marijuana-related merchandise, such as T-shirts, which do not contain THC.

After the change, recreational marijuana in Steamboat will be taxed at a rate of 20.5 percent.

Chris Franges, retail manager of the Golden Leaf dispensary in Steamboat, said Friday he does not think the tax increase will slow down the sales growth the store has been seeing.

He predicted customers might see the cost of some products go up by a dollar or two.

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"I don't think we'll see any real changes" in the volume of sales, he said. "We're not changing our flower pricing. The place people will see price changes will be in a lot of the edibles, because we can't control the price of that."

Franges said Golden Leaf has seen about a 30-percent growth in sales this year over its year-to-year average.

The city of Steamboat also continues to rake in significantly more sales tax revenue from the marijuana industry than it has in previous years.

In May, marijuana sales tax revenue was up 20.6 percent compared to the same month last year.

By comparison, sales tax revenue from liquor stores was up 6.6 percent.

The young recreational marijuana industry remains in a growth mode locally and around the state.

Earlier this year, all three dispensaries in Steamboat extended their business hours after the city changed its codes to allow it.

In March, there were a record amount of sales in Steamboat.

“I’d still say it’s attributable to marijuana tourism and the extended hours, slightly,” Steamboat Springs City Council President Walter Magill said at the time. “I still think it’s a novelty for people to come see and experience.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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