Marijuana tax money helping Colorado students pay for college

PUBELO COUNTY, Colo. — A marijuana-related tax is now helping send students to college in Colorado.

According to KKTV-TV in Denver, Pueblo County, Colorado has started a cannabis-funded college scholarship program for high school seniors living in the county.

Pueblo County Commissioners expects that every qualifying student would receive about $1,000 for college, about 300 to 400 students. To qualify, students would have to attend either Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo.

"It is so critically important to make college affordable for our youth if we want to provide long-term economic opportunity to our community. Too many kids can’t afford to go to college, with this program we are taking cannabis tax revenue and using it to provide for a brighter future in Pueblo," said the Pueblo County Commissioners in a statement.

If there is any additional money left over for the year, it will be given to students based on merit and need.

The 2017 funding available totals $475,000, with $4725,000 coming from the marijuana excise tax revenue and the other nearly $50,000 from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

Pueblo County’s marijuana excise tax taxes all marijuana grown within the county borders. The cultivator is taxed when either the marijuana is first sold or transferred to a retail store or manufacturer. The tax rate is currently at 2 percent and will increase each year annually until it reaches 5 percent.