Arizona has been high on my list of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana since the 2014 Election wrapped up. There is a campaign underway that is aimed at the 2016 ballot. I personally think that the initiative will be a success, but there is still a lot of time between now and Election Day 2016, so it’s far from guaranteed. How big could Arizona’s legal recreational marijuana industry get? Study results were recently that took a shot at answering that question. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Recreational marijuana stores in Arizona could generate roughly $480 million in revenue during the first full year of sales if the state legalizes adult-use cannabis in 2016, according to estimates in a new report by the nonpartisan Grand Canyon Institute.
A legalization proposal aiming for the 2016 ballot would establish a 15% sales tax on cannabis transactions. If the measure passes, the state would collect an estimated $72 million in taxes in 2019, when the new cannabis system would be fully up and running, according to the report.
The tax projection equates to nearly half a billion in sales.
The fact of the matter is that no one truly knows how much revenue a state can generate until the legalization law is completely implemented and the state’s cannabis industry is in full swing. With that being said, even one dollar generated by a new industry that is created basically out of thin air is a great thing, so long as there aren’t any harms caused by the new industry (which the cannabis industry doesn’t create any harms, despite what opponents try to say). And this projection by this study doesn’t even consider how much money Arizona will save by suspending cannabis prohibition enforcement, which itself is a hefty sum I’m sure.