Denver earmarks $1.2 million in marijuana money to help repave arterial & collector streets

Street paving season underway
Posted at 1:23 PM, Mar 21, 2018

DENVER -- Get ready for more cone zones!  

Paving season is underway in Denver.  This year, the Mile High City will spend $27 million dollars to repave arterial and collector streets.

A chunk of that cash, $1.2 million, is marijuana money.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Denver receives about $13 to 14 million a year in surplus marijuana tax revenue, from a special tax on marijuana.

Most of Denver's marijuana revenue is used to regulate the industry and for law enforcement.

Some goes to education.

The surplus goes into the General Fund.

This year, some of that general fund money is being spent to repave 405 lane miles of asphalt.

Mayor Hancock told Denver7 that as other states approve marijuana for recreational use, Colorado's and Denver's share of tax revenue will likely decrease.

For that reason, the city won't spend marijuana money on projects that need a steady revenue stream, but will instead spend it on one-time projects because "We cannot bank on those revenues being there year after year, with more and more states coming online," he said.

The 2018 paving project is an example.

Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said this is the first time that Public Works has received marijuana revenue.

"With the extra money that we're receiving in marijuana tax revenue this year, we're going to be able to pave at least 50 more blocks this year."

Be prepared for cone zones

Kuhn said this will be a very busy season.

"The marijuana revenue is on top of the $4.5 million that we're receiving from Measure 2-A that voters passed a few years ago," she said.  "Our funding levels are really optimum right now."

To see where the projects are scheduled, click on this link to see a city-wide map: