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New Denver pot report shows an increase in tax revenue, decline in crime

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DENVER, Colo. - Retail marijuana sales and projected marijuana tax revenue are up in Denver, according to a new report from the Department of Excise & Licenses.

Retail marijuana sales jumped 29 percent in Denver in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the report.

There is a projected increase of 8 percent in marijuana tax and licensing revenue in 2018 compared to 2017, the report states.

The marijuana sales tax brought in $45 million for the city of Denver in 2017 and $13 million of that went to funding the regulation of marijuana and to education and youth prevention, according to Denver's Excise & Licenses director Ashley Kilroy.

"We've also been able to use it for immediate needs that have been important to the mayor such as affordable housing, some infrastructure projects supported by the marijuana funds and looking at it to use for some opioid intervention strategies," Kilroy said.

The other $32 million goes to Denver's general fund. Marijuana sales tax revenue makes up 3.4 percent of Denver's overall general fund.

According to the report, marijuana-related crime in 2017 accounted for less than 1 percent of overall crime in Denver at .30 percent compared to .42 percent in 2017.

"The new report demonstrates Denver's coordinated approach between multiple agencies to manage marijuana is working," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

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