Colorado Revised Statutes Title 39. Taxation § 39-28.8-501. Marijuana tax cash fund--creation--distribution--legislative declaration

(1) The marijuana tax cash fund, referred to in this part 5 as the “fund”, is created in the state treasury.  The fund consists of any applicable retail marijuana sales tax transferred pursuant to section 39-28.8-203(1)(b) on or after July 1, 2014, and any revenues transferred to the fund from any sales tax imposed pursuant to section 39-26-106 on the retail sale of products under articles 43.3 and 43.4 of title 12, C.R.S.

(2)(a) The general assembly shall not appropriate the money in the fund for the fiscal year in which it was received by the state;  except that:

(I) The general assembly may appropriate money in the fund to the department of revenue for the fiscal years in which it was received by the state for the direct and indirect costs associated with implementing this article 28.8 and articles 11 and 12 of title 44;  and

(b)(I) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that the retail marijuana excise tax and sales tax created a new revenue stream for the state, and the basis of these taxes is the legalization of marijuana, which presents unique issues and challenges for the state and local governments.  Thus, there is a need to use some of the sales tax revenue for marijuana-related purposes.  But, as this is revenue from a tax, the general assembly may appropriate this money for any purpose.

(II) The general assembly further declares that the new retail marijuana tax revenue presents an opportunity to invest in services, support, intervention, and treatment related to marijuana and other drugs.

(III) Therefore, the purposes identified in this subsection (2) prioritize appropriations related to legalized marijuana, such as drug use prevention and treatment, protecting the state's youth, and ensuring the public peace, health, and safety.

(IV) Subject to the limitation in subsection (5) of this section, the general assembly may annually appropriate any money in the fund for any fiscal year following the fiscal year in which it was received by the state for the following purposes:

(A) To educate people about marijuana to prevent its illegal use or legal abuse;

(B) To provide services for adolescents and school-aged children in school settings or through community-based organizations;

(C) To treat and provide related services to people with any type of substance use or mental health disorder, including those with co-occurring disorders, or to evaluate the effectiveness and sufficiency of behavioral health services;

(D) For jail-based and other behavioral health services for persons involved in or diverted from the criminal justice system;

(E) For state regulatory enforcement, policy coordination, or litigation defense costs related to retail or medical marijuana;

(F) For law enforcement and law enforcement training, including any expenses for the police officers standards and training board training or certification;

(G) For the promotion of public health, including poison control, prescription drug take-back programs, the creation of a marijuana laboratory testing reference library, and other public health services related to controlled substances;

(H) To study the use of marijuana and other drugs, their health effects, and other social impacts related to them;

(I) To research, regulate, study, and test industrial hemp or hemp seeds;

(J) For the start-up expenses of the division of financial services related to the regulation of marijuana financial services cooperatives pursuant to article 33 of title 11, C.R.S., until the state commissioner of financial services first collects assessments on such cooperatives;  

(L) For the Colorado veterans' service-to-career program created in part 2 of article 14.3 of title 8;

(M) For the expenses of the department of education and the department of public health and environment in developing and maintaining the resource bank for educational materials on marijuana and providing technical assistance as required in section 22-2-127.7 ;

(N) For housing, rental assistance, and supportive services, including reentry services, pursuant to section 24-32-721 ;  and

(O) For the development of local dually identified crossover youth plans and services as described in section 19-2-211(2) .

(c) Subject to the limitations in subsection (5) of this section and in addition to the purposes for which the general assembly may appropriate moneys in the fund specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (2), the general assembly may also direct the state treasurer to transfer moneys in the fund to the general fund as specified in subsection (4) of this section.  The general assembly may direct the state treasurer to make such transfers only for a fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the moneys in the fund were received by the state.

(3) Any moneys in the fund not expended for the purposes specified in subsection (2) of this section may be invested by the state treasurer as provided by law.  All interest and income derived from the investment and deposit of moneys in the fund shall be credited to the fund.  Any unexpended and unencumbered moneys remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year remain in the fund and shall not be credited or transferred to the general fund or another fund.  All interest and income derived from the investment and deposit of moneys in the fund are subject to annual appropriation by the general assembly for any fiscal year following the fiscal year in which they were received by the state.

(4) The state treasurer shall make the following transfers from the fund to the general fund:

(b) On June 30, 2015, thirty million eight hundred eight thousand three hundred sixty-nine dollars;

(c) On August 15, 2015, one hundred thirty-eight thousand four hundred sixty-six dollars;

(d) On July 1, 2016, twenty-six million two hundred seventy-seven thousand six hundred sixty-one dollars;

(e) On June 30, 2018, thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars for the purpose specified in section 25.5-4-214 .

(5) Beginning with appropriations made for the 2015-16 state fiscal year, the total amount that the general assembly appropriates from the fund shall not exceed ninety-three and one-half percent of the amount of moneys in the fund available for appropriation.

(6) To increase transparency, the marijuana enforcement division in the department shall include a link on its website that describes the disposition of the retail marijuana excise tax revenue and how the revenue from the fund was appropriated for the fiscal year 2015-16 and each fiscal year thereafter.

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