The $1 billion U.S. marijuana industry certainly is attractive to many. A new report by New Frontier Data predicts that in 2017, $559 million in state marijuana taxes could be collected, which is a lot of tax revenue, especially for states with troubled economies.
New Frontier Data also estimates that tax revenues where marijuana is legal could meet or exceed $1.4 billion, according to Forbes. Fears that the DOJ will take a different approach to its current one on marijuana and the cuts to programs in the Trump administration put more pressure on states to make their own choices when it comes to marijuana.
Leslie Bocksor of Electrum Partners said, “In an era of dwindling state resources when we are looking to smaller governments, and an administration at the federal level that is looking to end funding to states in numerous ways, the discovered revenue from regulated legal cannabis markets can be a lifesaver to local law enforcement, substance abuse counseling and other social services.”
Bocksor also said that “the states’ economies are feeling the effects on real estate, the effects on the job market, the effects on travel and hospitality and the effects from a reduction in taxpayer burden from the criminal justice system.”
Washington state has a high retail marijuana tax, set at 37-percent. California plans to charge 15-percent sales tax. These tax rates generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues for the states.
Brian Vincente of Vincente Sederberg Law Firm said, “This tax revenue is very important to them. It’s three times as much as the alcohol tax and it has quickly become entrenched in the budget. These governors are fighting the federal government over marijuana laws for two reasons. The first is economic, meaning tax revenue and jobs. The second reason is that it’s a better use of law enforcement’s time.”