updated 11/17/2009 11:31:26 AM ET 2009-11-17T16:31:26

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter plans to direct medical marijuana dispensaries to start paying sales tax.

Ritter's move comes after Colorado Attorney General John Suthers concluded in an opinion issued Monday that medical marijuana is considered personal property that can be taxed and shouldn't be treated like prescription drugs, which are tax exempt.

Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer says the administration will immediately tell dispensaries to get retail licenses and start paying sales tax.

It wasn't immediately clear how much revenue the change would generate in the cash-strapped state.

The decision comes just as Denver moves to impose sales tax on medical marijuana. Denver plans to notify dispensaries that it will start collecting municipal sales tax starting in December.

And at least one lawmaker sees the tax ruling as a boon for state coffers.

"I'm pleased we now can get some tax revenue from the sale of a constitutionally authorized medical product," state Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, told Denverpost.com.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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