Article by Leada Gore, AL.com
Four states – Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska –have legalized the retail sale of marijuana. One of the main reasons cited by each state for legalizing pot is the tax revenue generated by marijuana sales.
Retail marijuana sales started in Colorado 2014, bringing in $56 million the first year and $113 million in 2015. It’s estimated tax revenue this year will top $140 million. Washington state, which began retail sales in 2014, brought in $76.9 million last year; Oregon, which has had legalized sales for about a year, has projected its tax revenues from marijuana at almost $60 million.
Alaska – which will start legalized pot sales later this year – expects to see a tax revenue boost of about $19.2 million a year.
That type of money could be enticing to states constantly on the lookout for additional revenues.
And how much would that revenue be? 24/7 Wall Street used numbers from the Tax Foundation to determine how much tax revenue would be generated by legalized marijuana sales in each state. The figures were determined by looking at per capita pot sales in Colorado and Washington to get revenue estimates then assessing a hypothetical tax of 25 percent.
In Alabama, legalized marijuana sales would generate about $134 million in tax revenue each year, according to the analysis. That’s the 27th highest amount of revenue from among all the state projections, despite Alabama’s marijuana use rate of 5.6 percent, the fifth lowest in the nation.