A marijuana grower in Denver works on repotting marijuana plants. (Denver Post file)

Lyons voters to decide on new wholesale marijuana tax

LYONS — The Lyons Town Board will ask voters to decide in November to authorize a new excise tax on the amounts that any locally licensed marijuana-cultivation or marijuana-infusion facilities charge when they sell their products to marijuana retailers.

That excise tax on wholesale marijuana transactions would start at 5 percent in 2016 and could eventually range up to — but never exceed — 10 percent.

Town officials said there are no locally licensed marijuana growing operations or marijuana-infusion product manufacturers inside Lyons now, but that the tax, if it passes in November, would be imposed on any future facilities.

Mayor John O’Brien said revenue from that tax could help offset the town’s expenses of enforcing and administering the marijuana laws and regulations that apply to such growing operations and infused-products manufacturers.

Lyons finance director Tony Cavalier has estimated that a 5 percent excise tax on a single licensed operator’s wholesale marijuana transactions could generate up to about $135,000 a year, or up to $270,000 under a 10 percent tax rate.

Lyons already charges a 3.5 percent tax — after the town’s voters approved raising it from 3 percent last November — on locally licensed business retail sales of recreational marijuana and marijuana-infused products.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com