Arizona could generate an additional $48 million in revenue by legalizing and taxing marijuana, an analysis by the State Legislature shows.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee produced a report in September on the estimated impact of legal marijuana, but didn’t release the data publicly. New Times obtained a copy of the report this morning.
Prepared in response to a legalization bill proposed earlier this year by a group of Democrats, the JLBC report shows that Arizona could enjoy a large boost in revenue for schools, health care and other services simply by taxing people who already use marijuana.
By comparison, a JLBC report last week on the impact of a proposed tax on e-cigarettes estimates an increase to state revenue by only $283,000 to $13.5 million.
The Democrats’ bill would have made marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, and would have allowed the plant to be sold in retail shops with an added $50-per-ounce tax.
Ray Stern at the Phoenix New Times has more.