By Stephen Calabria, TheJointBlog.com Contributing Author
A new study has found that Arizona could generate almost $82 million in tax revenue over the next four years through the legalization of cannabis, if voters approve a related ballot initiative this November
The study — undertaken by Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee — found that consumers in the state would purchase close to $500 million worth of legal cannabis per year until 2020.
The $82 million mark is based on the estimation that $74 million would be culled from the 15 percent retail tax — which would account for roughly $74 million — plus the licensing of growers and dealers.
The findings of the study — which was funded primarily by the Marijuana Policy Project — have been met with some criticism: Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, an opponent of legalized cannabis in the state, voiced his concerns that the amount of money the state could generate from cannabis sales was inadequate relative to the costs that the state would incur as a result of legalization.
The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would allow those who are 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, grow as many as six plants, and carry up to five grams of cannabis concentrate. An April poll found 43 percent of likely voters in the state supportive of the legalization measure, while 49 were opposed.
Stephen Calabria is a New York City-based journalist and a media advisor for nyvapeshop.com.