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Marijuana tax dollars fund educational programs in Denver

Since legalized recreational marijuana sales began in Denver more than five years ago, one of the most common question we have received is “Where does the marijuana money go?” In 2013, Denver voters approved a special sales tax on retail marijuana, with that money able to be spent on marijuana regulation, enforcement and education.

From 2014 to 2019, the City of Denver has budgeted over 16 million dollars for marijuana education efforts. From mass media campaigns to in school education, this money has provided not only cannabis specific content but also social emotional learning opportunities.

To improve transparency and to help the public better understand how Denver’s marijuana funds are distributed, Denver created a “Marijuana Prevention and Educational Map”.

On this map, constituents can see the programs devoted to youth education and prevention that received marijuana funds in Denver through the Offices of Children’s Affairs (OCA) and Behavioral Health (OHB). This map discloses how many youth are served in each of those programs, their ages, how much money each program and location received and a link to the program’s website for more information.

The map shows a portion of Denver’s Youth Marijuana Education and Prevention grantees for the past year and will be updated once a year to reflect the new data. The full breakdown of revenue granted to those programs since 2014 is:







2019 (projected)















To review how the state of Colorado marijuana taxes are applied to educational efforts, visit Colorado’s Department of Education website. For more information on how the City of Denver budgets the marijuana tax dollars, please visit our interactive dashboard.

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