State Tax Snapshot: Why the Super Bowl Team States are Seeing Green


In addition to their snowy mountains, the two contenders for Super Bowl XLVIII have another thing in common, legal recreational marijuana. Both, Colorado and Washington have legalized the use of marijuana and determined how high the impact will be on the state’s pockets each time a purchase is made.

The revenue impact of the legalized use of marijuana is likely to linger beyond the home states of the Broncos and Seahawks. There are approximately 20 states considering legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a recent article in Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report.

New Hampshire might be the next state where lawmakers will hash out the pros and cons of legalizing cannabis, according to the Tax Foundation.

For Colorado and Washington the grand experiment has begun.

Marijuana sales in Colorado began Jan. 1, 2014 holding a 15 percent excise tax price tag as well as an additional 10 percent sales tax. Also, local jurisdictions, such as Denver, may impose sales tax on the retail sale of recreational marijuana. The state projects to collect $70 million in tax revenue from the new legalization of marijuana, according to a recent article in Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report.

Taxes in Washington will be even “high”-er. A 25 percent excise tax will be imposed at each level of the marijuana system including, producer, processor, retailer, and customer. Additionally, business and occupational (B&O) tax applies on the production and retail sales taxes apply. Washington projects tax revenue up to $2 million in the first five years.

Although, Broncos and Seahawks fans will be lining up this week to cheer their respective team to a Super Bowl ring, the players will not be blowing smoke rings following a victory, as the NFL prohibits use of recreational marijuana due to the league’s substance abuse program.

Continue the discussion on the Bloomberg BNA State Tax LinkedIn Group: Will revenues from legalized marijuana linger into other states?

By Alexis Kimbrough

Follow me on Twitter at @AlexisK_SALT

Follow us on Twitter at: @BBNATax