Gov. Jerry Brown estimated Wednesday that the state will receive $643 million from excise taxes on marijuana during the first full year of legalization in California, much more than the cost to the state of issuing licenses and enforcing new rules.
Brown’s estimates are contained in the budget he proposed for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and fall short of some past state projections that legalized cannabis could eventually bring $1 billion annually to the state’s coffers. This year, with only six months of taxing, the budget estimates $175 million in pot taxes.
“The amount and timing of revenues generated from the new taxes are uncertain and will depend on various factors including local regulations, and cannabis price and consumption changes in a legal environment,” Brown’s budget says.
Groups advocating for marijuana users say the massive windfall is unjustified, and they called on the state to reduce taxes and fees to make cannabis more affordable in the regulated market. Otherwise, they warned, the state’s black market will continue to flourish.
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