Recreational marijuana: Is the money really going to education?

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) —  One of the most frequently asked questions 8 News Now receives when it comes to education funding is about the marijuana tax money and whether it’s going to schools. 

It is, but there’s just one problem: So far, the marijuana money can’t really be tracked, but that is expected to change soon.

Let’s break it down: Ballot Question 2, more often than not, is what most people are referring to when they ask why the marijuana money isn’t going toward education.

Question 2 ballot initiative legalized marijuana in the state, which sent money directly to the large state pot of money for schools. The pot is known as the Distributive School Account or DSA.  The initial 15 percent wholesale tax in that initiative did go into that state fund, but because of the way the funding formula from the state to school districts work, it only replaced or supplanted money that was already in there. It did not make the total amount of the pot go up.

But all of that will change in a few years when the legislature passes a new funding formula bill, but it will not have an impact on funding for the next school year. 

In addition to that tax, there is a second 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sales. This year that went into the state’s rainy day fund, but the legislature passed a bill that will now redirect that $120 million into the DSA.  That money will supplement not supplant money already in there, so it will make the whole pot bigger, meaning more money will be headed to CCSD.

Governor Sisolak redirected another marijuana tax from the rainy day fund when lawmakers raised the cap on education funding during the session.

Politics Now Host Patrick Walker has those details.

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