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Boulder Flush with Marijuana Tax Revenue


 Boulder

Boulder, Colorado, brought in way more sales tax revenue between January and May, 2015, than during the same period in 2014. Part of that is due to the fact that Boulder’s sales and use tax rate increased from 3.56% to 3.86% on January 1, 2015. But there’s also more to it than that. In a word: marijuana.

According to the City of Boulder Sales & Use Tax Revenue Report (May 2015), marijuana taxes in Boulder are as follows:

Medical marijuana

  • 3.86% sales and use tax on product sales paid by the purchaser and/or costs of any construction materials, furniture, fixtures, or equipment paid by the business.

Recreational marijuana

  • 7.36% sales tax on product sales paid by the purchaser (3.86% base and 3.50% additional).
  • 7.36% use tax on the cost of any construction materials, furniture, fixtures, or equipment paid by the business (3.86% base and 3.50% additional).
  • A 5.00% excise tax paid by the grow facility when shipping product to dispensaries and/or marijuana infused product facilities.
  • A "share-back" of certain State of Colorado revenue (the State collects a 10.00% tax on recreational marijuana sales and "shares back" 15.00% of that 10.00% to each city where such revenue is generated).

Recreational marijuana sales were more than 121% higher January – May 2015 than during the same period last year. However, medical marijuana sales increased only by 2.71% for that period.

To be fair, it should be noted that marijuana sales in Boulder did not begin in earnest until April 2014. As Boulder Chief Financial Officer Bob Eichem notes, “Last year the business was just starting up, and very few places were open. So this year’s numbers, which show them fully operational, are large percentage increases. Once we start comparing to months when businesses were fully open in 2014 (late in the year), the numbers will be smaller.” Only then will the city know if collections exceed projections (Boulder Weekly).


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.