County Will Appeal Retail Marijuana Tax to Supreme Court

Adams County Commissioners have directed County Attorney Heidi Miller to appeal a December 15, 2016 Colorado Court of Appeals opinion to the Colorado Supreme Court. Reversing a Sept. 23, 2016 Adams County District Court decision, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion in favor of three municipalities ruling that, despite voter approval in all cities, the county does not have the authority to impose a special sales tax on retail marijuana. 

Pending the definitive ruling through the appeal process, the county will continue to collect the three percent tax on retail marijuana.

In the first year of collection, more than $500,000 generated from the retail marijuana tax was used to create the Adams County Scholarship Fund. This program, using matching funds from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Program, provides four-year scholarships to qualified students enrolled in the free and reduced school lunch program. The county will honor the scholarships awarded to more than 50 students in May of 2016 and will award another $1 million in scholarships in 2017.

“Our residents understood the money generated from this tax could be used for education, and they overwhelmingly supported the tax by voting for this measure,” said Board Chairman Steve O’Dorisio. “The county will pursue all legal avenues to preserve its authority to collect this tax on retail marijuana that voters in every municipality approved.”

The county will file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Colorado Supreme Court in January.