Colorado is set to become the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana, after lawmakers approved several bills that set business standards and rules. Legislators expect enforcement of the rules to be paid for by two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax.
Other measures included in the package set limits on how much marijuana visitors to Colorado can buy (a quarter of an ounce), as well as a limit on how many cannabis plants a private citizen can grow (six).
Gov. John Hickenlooper has indicated he will sign the legislation, according to The Denver Post. Colorado voters first approved the legalization of pot for recreational use by people over age 21 in a ballot initiative last November.
Voters adopted a similar measure in Washington state, where plans for regulation and taxation are still being formed.
"The first legal marijuana should be on sale in Washington in March 2014," reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "and Colorado will have its cannabis stores open as soon as Jan. 1."
Like all new Colorado taxes, voters must approve the new taxation system in a ballot initiative this autumn.
Other states are already taxing pot, but those levies cover medical marijuana. California reportedly raises more than $100 million a year on such sales.
The Colorado legislation adopted Wednesday also includes a requirement that "pot must be sold in child-resistant packages with labels that specify potency," The Post reports. "Edible marijuana products will have serving-size limits."