A new report conducted by the nonprofit West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy has found that West Virginia would get tens of millions of dollars in new taxes each year if they were to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes.
According to the report, if cannabis were legalized with a tax of 25% of its wholesale price, the state would garner an estimated $45 million in new taxes each year from residents. a 15% tax would garner the state less, but still a significant sum; $26.8 million.
The report estimates that if just 10% of those who living within a 200-mile radius of West Virginia came to the state to legally purchase cannabis, the state would garner an additional $194 million in taxes at a 25% rate; they would garner $116.5 million at a 15% tax rate.
According to the report, legalizing cannabis could reduce criminal justice costs and offer a pain relief treatment less addictive than opioids, while increasing tourism for the state.
The report estimates that there is an average of $190 million in cannabis purchased each year in West Virginia, despite it being entirely illegal (with the possession of even one gram being a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail).