Denver Nov. 2 Poll Order 300 calls on voters to create a pandemic research fund by raising the city’s marijuana sales tax rate to 11.8% from 10.3 %, adding an additional 15 cents to every $ 10 spent at a recreational clinic.
He identified a local institution, the CityCenter at the University of Colorado at Denver, to lead this potential research that would focus on technologies that could protect people from contagious diseases and changes in public policy that could boost preparedness and pandemic recovery.
“Denver residents want to be prepared the next time a pandemic strikes and this ballot initiative is the way to get there,” the Denver Pandemic Fund campaign said in an emailed statement to the Denver Post.
But opponents, including Mayor Michael Hancock, say it is a misguided move that would unnecessarily reduce the tax burden on Denverites.
The measure was proposed by Guarding Against Pandemics, a nonprofit organization backed by cryptocurrency billionaire and Joe Biden donor Sam Bankman-Fried.
Campaign financial records show that Guarding Against Pandemics donated $ 250,000 to the Denver Pademic Fund Campaign this year. The organization lists an address in Delaware.
Although originally from out of state, the campaign noted that it was endorsed by the Colorado Nurses Association.
CU Denver, whose CityCenter branch is named in the ordinance as the recipient of the funding that the tax increase would bring, did not approve the measure.
“However, we are excited about the opportunities this presents, if the ordinance is passed, to serve the world with research on how to respond to COVID-19 and other pandemics,” the spokesperson said. from CU Denver, Ryan Huff, in an email. “As a research university, we are well positioned to administer and conduct the types of research described. “
The campaign estimates that Ordinance 300 would bring in $ 7 million a year from 2022, but the city’s voter guide said the number would likely be $ 10 million next year and more by the continued, as marijuana sales continue to grow.
The Marijuana Industry Group, the largest trading organization in the state’s cannabis industry, opposes Ordinance 300 and Proposition 119, the state-level measure in the Nov. 2 poll to also to increase sales taxes on marijuana.
“The cannabis industry is the most taxed industry in the state,” Truman Bradley, group executive director, said in an email. “Unfortunately, Ordinance 300 and Proposition 119 are targeting consumers, which is hurting low and middle income Coloradans.”