First-year revenue totaling an estimated $9.3 billion is at stake when voters go to the polls in five states next month to decide whether or not to legalize possession and consumption of marijuana for medical or recreational use.
According to Giadha DeCarcer, CEO of cannabis industry market firm New Frontier Data, this year’s elections could be among the “most consequential and historical events to change the landscape of the legal U.S cannabis industry.” If all five ballot measures are adopted, 38 states will have approved the sale of marijuana.
New Frontier Data estimates that the revenues from these five states could lift the national total for the 38 states to $35.1 billion by 2025.
Voters in four states–Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey–will decide on measures approving legal possession and use of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes while South Dakota voters will decide on two measures, one approving recreational use and one approving medical use only. Here’s our review of the ballot measures in each state.
Here’s a state-by-state look at potential revenues if all ballot measures are passed.
First-year recreational marijuana sales are projected to reach $400 million and sales are forecast to hit $1 billion by 2025. The current population of Arizona is 7.3 million. A state sales tax of 5.6% plus local taxes would be supplemented by a 16% excise tax on sales of cannabis products. Revenue to the state would total about $86 million in the first year of legal marijuana sales.
The state’s voters are considering different measures that are both limited to the sale of medical marijuana. If either passes, first-year revenues are estimated at $6 million and 2025 sales could reach $66 million. Tax revenues were not estimated. Mississippi is home to 2.9 million people.
The state has two ballot measures related to recreational sales of marijuana. If both pass, Montana’s first-year sales are projected to reach $56 million, rising to $175 million by 2025. Consumers would pay a 20% state tax (Montana has no sales tax). First-year revenue to the state would be around $12 million.
Sales in the state are forecast to reach $773 million in the first year and rise to $1.8 billion by 2025. New Jersey’s population is 8.9 million and about 1 million are estimated to be customers for legal marijuana. A state sales tax of 6.625% and up to a 2% additional local sales tax would apply. At the maximum rate, first-year tax revenue would total about $6.7 million.
With just under 885,000 residents, South Dakota is the smallest state voting on marijuana legalization this year. The estimate of first-year revenue from recreational marijuana sales is $41.3 million and 2025 sales are expected to reach nearly $123 million. First-year sales of medical marijuana are estimated at $1.8 million, growing to $20.6 million by 2025. The state would tax recreational cannabis sales at 15%, raising about $6.2 million in tax revenue.