CO: Marijuana Sales Tax Money To Help State Fair, FFA And 4-H

0
218

The Colorado State Fair is getting a couple boosts from retail marijuana tax money including one that will contribute to two organizations showcased in Tuesday’s annual Colorado Touchstone Energy Cooperative Junior Livestock Sale.

Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said Monday that $300,000 from the state’s marijuana cash fund has been granted to Colorado 4-H and Future Farmers of America organizations at the Fair.

He said the county also is set to give the Fair $500,000 from its marijuana excise tax for a “streetscape” project at the Fairgrounds.

“The state money will help FFA and 4-H including all the competitions for the youth who are here from all over the state leading up to the livestock auction (Tuesday),” Pace said.

“The 4-H and FFA organizations are the reason the Fair exists. And it’s to provide a showcase and to celebrate our youth in agriculture and the future of agriculture.”

Pace said that it is unfortunate that the two organizations have been under scrutiny by the state Legislature over the past few years because of the lack of money the events have made for the Fair.

“I’d argue that the Fair shouldn’t be obligated to make money on the ag programs,” he said.

Pace said state Sen. Pat Steadman, who is becoming term-limited this year, proposed the idea of using marijuana funds to fund FFA and 4-H.

“That not only funds an important program for youth – who the more active they are in FFA and 4-H, they are going to be less likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyles like drug and alcohol use – but also helps the bottom line of the Fair because it won’t show that portion of the Fair running in the red,” Pace said.

John Singletary, who has been on several state boards including the Colorado Board of Agriculture, said the funding is important to FFA and 4-H.

Pace said the county is giving the Fair money through its marijuana excise tax to help improve the streets, parks, sidewalks, benches and lighting.

Voters approved a county excise tax on the first sale of unprocessed retail marijuana on retail marijuana cultivation facilities located in Pueblo County in November.

Officials said 50 percent of the collected taxes will go toward high school scholarships while the remaining dollars will be directed to local county projects and programs.

“I think it’s important for the citizens of Pueblo to realize that marijuana funds are going to our Colorado State Fair and are playing a role in helping the Fair become more successful,” Pace said.

“It’s helping the Fair become more financially viable, which will help ensure that it stays in Pueblo in the long run.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana Sales Tax Money To Help State Fair, FFA And 4-H
Author: Anthony A. Mestas
Contact: (719) 544-3520
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Website: The Pueblo Chieftain