Cal NORML Release – May 5, 2010
The California Board of Equalization reports that the state is collecting $50 – $100 million
in sales taxes from medical marijuana, confirming the estimate previously published in an economic analysis by California NORML (also independently affirmed by Americans for Safe Access).
California NORML currently estimates the state’s retail market for medical marijuana at
over $1 billion per year in a total adult use market of $6 billion. An initiative to legalize
and tax marijuana for adult use will be on this November’s ballot (see http://www.taxcannabis2010.org).
Opponents of legal marijuana, led by Los Angeles City Attorney Steve Cooley, have sought
to choke off the state’s lucrative medical marijuana market by claiming that sales are
illegal. The state stands to lose $10s of millions in sales tax revenues and millions more
in enforcement costs if Southern California’s dispensaries are closed.
“Marijuana prohibition is a losing proposition for California’s taxpayers,” argues Cal NORML
director Dale Gieringer, “On one hand it costs the state to arrest, prosecute, and imprison
marijuana offenders, on the other it deprives the state of valuable tax revenues.”
Adult use legalization could net the state some $1.4 billion in revenues according to the
state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, or over $1.2 billion by California NORML’s estimate.
– Cal NORML Release 5/5/10