Town trustees weigh pot tax

Measure would take effect in 2015

Town trustees on Wednesday considered a putting a measure on the ballot that would allow them to tax marijuana up to 10 percent. If the ballot measure is passed in April, the tax would take effect January 2015.

All the trustees voiced their support for taking advantage of the new tax revenue.

“I didn’t really think that the town should get into marijuana primarily for the fact that I didn’t want it be known as a pot town,” Mayor Pro Tem Perry Lewis said. “But the bottom line is we need sales tax. Sales tax has gone down every single year.”

The current state tax on recreational marijuana is 25 percent. County sales of medical marijuana brought the state $47,500 in taxes last year.

The moratorium on recreational marijuana sales in Mancos will lapse in June unless it is extended. Cortez and Durango also have moratoriums on recreational marijuana.

The trustees called for more information about state laws regarding marijuana shops.

“If we’re going to approve this I would like a really good idea of where it can happen, when it can happen,” Trustee Todd Kearns said. “So we’re going to have to look at zoning.”

Marshal John Cox told the board he did not agree with allowing the sale of retail marijuana because it could draw people from other states in and lead tourists and residents to driving high.

“What I’m afraid of is us becoming the destination in Southwest Colorado to come buy your pot,” he said.