Marijuana shops expect big crowds for tax holiday
September 14, 2015
EAGLE COUNTY — Marijuana enthusiasts can add one more holiday to their calendars. On Wednesday, recreational pot will be sold without state-added taxes.
Those taxes were approved by voters in 2013, a year after the state approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the possession and retail sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. Since revenue has exceeded projections in the ballot measure, refunds are being given in the form of a one-day price break.
Getting ready for the tax holiday is keeping local shops busy, since they expect more business — after all, pot will be discounted.
"We'll be doing some sort of special," Roots Rx store manager Zeb Klapperich said.
At Sweet Leaf Pioneer in Eagle, store manager Chris Kuchler is also getting ready for a big day. While state taxes are already added to the price of raw pot, known as bud, prices for processed items such as edibles and creams don't have the tax added. That's going to require some tinkering with the store's point-of-sale systems. All sales must be documented, but only sales, not individual buyers, are tracked.
How big are the savings? Kuchler said a $50 item would be $5 less Wednesday.
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Kuchler said he expects the price break to result in some additional buying.
"You'll probably get someone who usually buys a quarter-ounce buy twice as much — who doesn't like to save money?," he said.
And, while state law limits state residents to buy no more than one ounce at a time — possession is also limited to an ounce or less — Klapperich said people might want to buy more than one ounce in separate transactions.
The tax holiday might also encourage people to experiment.
Mandy Melby is a spokesperson for Native Roots, which currently has 12 retail or medical stores around the state, including Eagle-Vail. Melby said the kind of pot many Baby Boomers are familiar with is just part of what's available in the store.
"Our inventory includes elixirs, edibles and other products," Melby said. "People who have never tried those before might want to see what those are all about."
Similarly, people who know what they like may want to stock up.
Whether 9/16 replaces 4/20 as pot enthusiasts' favorite set of numbers remains to be seen. Future tax holidays depend on whether tax collections continue to exceed limits set in the 2013 ballot issue. If the industry continues to grow, Wednesday may become an annual event.