Colorado marijuana revenue reached record breaking highs this August. Recreational marijuana sales surpassed all previous marijuana monthly marijuana sales and thanks to Proposition BB which passed last year, the state will be able to keep all the surplus tax revenues. Recreational marijuana sales came in at $84.7 million in comparison to last year, when it came up to $59.2 million. Medical marijuana sales remained the same at $41.4 million. The total amount of Colorado marijuana revenue for August came up to $126 million. The previous record was for the month before, July, which accrued $122.67 million.
New Law Contributing to Colorado Marijuana Revenue
So far, 2016 has recorded almost $846.5 million in marijuana sales. This time last year, the state had accumulated just over $639 million, showing that revenues are already more than $200 million over what was made last year. Part of this may be due to a new state law that was introduced this year. The law allows non-residents of Colorado who are vacationing or visiting, to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana a day as opposed to a quarter ounce a day. The summer months are particularly high sales months. Economist Adam Orens with BBC Research and Marijuana Policy said the spike in sales is seasonal, saying this is a time when parties, concerts, festivals, BBQs and summer activities occur. Plus it’s a time when tourists are vacationing. These are times of higher alcohol and marijuana consumption.
Funds Directly Benefit Bullying Prevention
So far the tax revenue for 2016, has already reached $124.9 million dollars. $2.9 million will be going towards bullying prevention grants, which will be given to 50 Colorado schools. After a shocking video of a child being bullied at a bus stop went viral, the state decided to use some of the Colorado marijuana revenue for helping to create safer, happier environments for children. Schools that apply and are approved will receive up to $40,000 and get special training on bullying prevention. Schools will need to form bullying prevention committees that include parents and teachers. The hope is that the prevention programs will create warmer environments where bullying becomes a thing of the past.
Limited Application Window
Schools have until October 21st to apply for the grants and the selected schools will be announced on December 30th. Schools will begin to receive support and funding as early as January 2017. The Colorado Department of Education appointed Dr. Adam Collins to organize the bullying prevention grants. Collins said, “It’s a great opportunity for schools to apply and make sure the social and emotional wellness of their students is taken care of… you’re getting time as well as funds. And so those funds come from marijuana tax dollars. So, what that is allowing us to do is actually provide help for bullying prevention in schools directly.”
Colorado is the only state that has been able to put significant funding into the prevention of bullying at schools. Usually schools hold an assembly which is not enough to create a real impact. Colorado could set a positive example with its bullying prevention program and if it works it may be an inspirational source of healing for bullying across the country.