Taxation is Theft

Taxation is Theft

When Amendment 64 passed in Colorado there was so much joy and optimism, but many of the details had not been thought out, and their ramifications had yet to be considered. Many entrepreneurs were happy to sign up for a license to sell legal cannabis either through retail or wholesale. Colorado’s government is almost exclusively Democrats, and that means one thing: They want to tax you to death while telling you they’re so concerned. Their bubble is about to burst, and they are going to be the direct cause of it with their greed and lack of concern for any small businesses. This is being done in plain sight and somehow being swept under the rug and becoming normal–until now!

Operating in the legal cannabis world means one thing: you better be prepared to be taxed on every possible aspect of your business. It seemed so noble at the time: legalize it, tax it and reap the benefits. The Marijuana Enforcement Division that governs the entire industry is laughing all the way to the bank. They have issued far too many licenses for cultivation facilities and manufactures. That blunder alone has taken the average price of premium cannabis in Colorado to about $800 a pound.

With no relief in sight, growers are playing a race to the bottom. But the tax rate stays the same, and the state of Colorado pulls about $100 off each one of them. The state will still sell the same amount but since every grow in the state has 200 lbs. on the shelf, prices continue to plummet. That needs to be adjusted immediately so these licensed operators can actually have a chance to survive. Without a repeal of the absurd taxes levied upon the industry, it will only lend an advantage to the monstrous corporations with the deepest pockets. The small-time, individual operators will be forced out of business or bought out and taken over by large groups seeking to monopolize the industry. Has this been their plan all along?

The greed at the top is disgusting, and I know for a fact that numerous city and state officials are living “high in the hog” off the avalanche of tax dollars taken in day after day. Years from now I suspect we will hear about some politician or special interest group skimming and taking some for themselves. They are politicians, so nothing surprises me. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done fast. Otherwise, we’ll watch the demise of so many companies that showed promise years ago, but who now have been hamstrung by relentless taxes and new regulations that render products or supplies useless. The unneeded amounts of “testing” that no industry should have to endure are slowly destroying companies.

The social experiment is over, and it’s crystal clear that legal, regulated cannabis is here to stay as an industry. Is that future controlled by the citizens and small businesses working together or is it dominated by a handful of ultra-wealthy and connected individuals and corporations? The taxes and oversaturation of the market will be the deciding factor for which side wins out. I personally feel the taxes should be cut by about 75% if the state of Colorado actually cares about this industry and its operators. Shift the tax burden over to alcohol and tobacco and make those industries contribute. They kill more people in ten minutes than cannabis has ever killed in its existence.


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