Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Study: Recreational Marijuana Could Bring AZ $113 Million in New Revenue

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Legalizing recreational marijuana and establishing a 15 percent tax on it could bring Arizona $113 million in new revenue, according to a study by the non-partisan group Tax Foundation

The Arizona study is based on sales per capita in Colorado and Washington—both states legalized weed four years ago.

The study says that if all 50 states enforce retail taxes on marijuana, the country could see a revenue of $5.3 billion if taxed at 15 percent, or as high as $8 billion if it's taxed at 25 percent, according to an article on The Arizona Republic.

In Arizona, a "mature" marijuana industry could raise $113 million every year if weed is taxed at 15 percent; $150 million if taxed at 20 percent; and $188 million if taxed at 25 percent, the study says, according to The Arizona Republic.
The study cautioned officials to not overestimate tax revenue from legalizing the drug, saying revenues started out slowly in Colorado and Washington as their legalization programs and regulatory systems took shape.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backed by the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, wants to legalize recreational use of weed for adults 21 and over, green light home cultivation of six plants per adult but a limit of 12 per household, allow possession of up to 1 ounce, as well as make available up to 160 licenses for weed retailers. This measure asks to enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sale. The group proposes using the revenue to fund schools maintenance, operation, full-day kindergarten programs, as well as substance abuse awareness programs. (Get to know CRMLA's initiative here.) The campaign has gathered more than 200,000 signatures. 

The second contender, Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, also would legalize marijuana use, possession and cultivation for adults 21 and over. An adult would be allowed to posses 1 ounce of weed and no more than 5 grams in concentrated marijuana, such as oils. Also, an adult could grow 12 plants at home, without a limit on the amount of weed plants that can be cultivated per household, as long as it is under 99. The taxation is set at 10 percent. (Here's more info on their initiative.) Last time I spoke with the AZFMR guys at the end of March, they said they had gathered more than 100,000 signatures. 

Both initiatives need at least 150,642 signatures by July 7 to make the November ballot. 

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