Democratic state legislators in the state of Connecticut presented a budget proposition this past Tuesday that involves regulating and taxing the use of marijuana for adults 21 and older. In the first year under the proposed system, those who are 21 and over would be able to buy controlled quantities of marijuana from existing medical marijuana dispensaries, and sales would be subject to a 25% tax in addition to the standard 6.35% state sales tax.
Once the state has licensed adult-use businesses, marijuana would be subject to an excise tax of $50 per ounce in addition to the standard 6.35% state sales tax on retail sales. Oregon and Nevada have adopted similar approaches, allowing early adult sales in medical marijuana businesses. An analysis of the plan believes it would generate roughly $60 million in marijuana tax revenue in the first full year and $180 million in the second year.
“The Democrats’ proposal to regulate marijuana for adults would generate significant new tax revenue in addition to creating jobs for residents and business opportunities for other local industries,” stated Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in annual marijuana sales have been taking place in Connecticut each year, and the state has not received a dime in tax revenue. If the Legislature moves forward with this plan, the state could be bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue within just the next two years. This is not the only reason or the best reason to regulate marijuana for adult use, but it is one of several good reasons,” says Tracy.
“Regulating marijuana would come with several public health and public safety benefits in addition to the economic benefits. It would take marijuana out of the criminal market and ensure it is tested, labeled, and sold only to adults who show proof of age. It would also allow law enforcement officials to spend more time addressing serious crimes instead of enforcing failed prohibition laws. Most Americans recognize that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and they want to see it treated that way. Kudos to the Democrats for proposing a plan that would do just that and bring a variety of benefits to the people of Connecticut,” Tracy added.