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What About Marijuana Tax Money?

Many Colorado residents wonder about marijuana tax money when it comes to funding schools. The Colorado Department of Education distributes marijuana funds through BEST grants. According to the Colorado Department of Education, "The first forty million dollars received and collected from the excise tax on retail marijuana earned annually from the recreational marijuana industry is transferred into the BEST Program Assistance Fund. May 2015 marked the first grant cycle to utilize these revenues."

D38 received a BEST grant of over $200,000 for the new roof at Palmer Lake Elementary School. In 2019, D38 received two BEST grants for a new roof at Prairie Winds Elementary School and a new boiler for Kilmer Elementary School. BEST grants do require D38 to pay a 65% match toward any award received. 

  • The Kilmer Elementary School boiler replacement is a $438,000 project, receiving $140,000 and D38 contributing $298,000.
  • The Prairie Winds Elementary School roof replacement is a $1.1 million project, receiving $357,000 and D38 contributing $759,000. 

For additional information on the LPSD Grant Programs and past recipients, click here.

Resources regarding marijuana money are below

Grassroots St. Vrain provides updated information on how education funding works in Colorado. They fact check with school district leaders, the Colorado Legislative Council, and the Colorado School Finance Project. 

The Marijuana Money Myth 


Pot Revenue graphic  

 (From Chris Stiffler of the Colorado Fiscal Institute's presentation on Colorado's School Finance Simplified)

Additional Resources

Colorado News Articles:

Marijana money isn't the pot of gold Colorado voters hoped for with school funding

Do Marijuana Taxes Go To Schools? Yes, But Probably Not In The Way You Think They Do

"Where's all that marijuana money?" Colorado's pot dollars help schools, but maybe not as much as you think 

Colorado Department of Education: 

Marijuana Tax Revenue and Education 

Why Marijuana Tax money can't solve school budget problems

How marijuana tax revenue is distributed

Colorado School Finance Project:
Marijuana Tax Revenues