CO pot tax revenue not as high as hoped - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

CO pot tax revenue not as high as hoped

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There's also an unexpected increase in medical marijuana patients who don't have to pay the new taxes. (Source: KUSA/CNN) There's also an unexpected increase in medical marijuana patients who don't have to pay the new taxes. (Source: KUSA/CNN)

DENVER (KUSA/CNN) - The increase in revenue from Colorado's new marijuana taxes is expected to be half of what the voter guide estimated last year, maybe less.

That's in part because the state may have overestimated how much of the drug the average user will buy.

There's also an unexpected increase in medical marijuana patients who don't have to pay the new taxes.

Some lawmakers say this is happening because medical marijuana is cheaper than recreational marijuana, partly because patients don't pay the recreational pot tax, which means the state makes less money.

The state could just get rid of medical marijuana altogether and force everybody to pay the tax, but lawmakers say that seems unlikely.

“That would require us to go back to the people with constitutional amendment, deal with marijuana again,” said Tim Dore, Republican of the Colorado State House. “I don't know if anybody wants to do that, but I think we're going to want to do is address the issues, make sure the medical marijuana is truly being used for the people who are using it for medical purposes.”

Another legislator said he's also heard of more people using medical pot for medical reasons.

Now that pot is less taboo, some people are switching to it instead of using prescription pain pills.

Copyright 2014 KUSA via CNN. All rights reserved. 

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