A new study says Arizonans would spend about $500 million on marijuana if it is legalized for recreational use, according to a June 30, 2016, Capitol Media Services report at Tucson.com.
That would generate about $82 million in taxes for Arizona each year.
The new study, from the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, appeared in news media reports on June 29, 2016, the day before supporters of recreational legalization expected to deliver more than 250,000 signatures to get the issue on November’s ballot. Supporters only need 150,642 signatures to succeed.
The tax forecast is based upon an anticipated $74 million from a 15-percent tax on retail sales of recreational marijuana. The remaining $8 million would come from other aspects of the marijuana industry like licenses for growers.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s study predicts a lower figure for tax revenues than a previous Tax Foundation report, which anticipated $113 million. Committee analyst Patrick Moran said the Tax Foundation based its figures on marijuana usage in Colorado, which even before recreational legalization had a higher usage rate than Arizona.