If voters decide to legalize marijuana in Alaska, annual sales could generate more than $100 million in tax revenue by the time 2020 rolls around, sales analysts believe.
The Marijuana Policy Group said if Alaskan voters say “yes” to the ballot measure in next week’s referendum, sales will generate
$7 million in state tax revenue, or 22 percent of demand, in the first year, the Huffington Post reported. Those sales would be the equivalent to four metric tons of marijuana – an amount that would fill almost half the length of a football field.
If the “yes” vote is successful, Alaska would become the third state after Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational use of the drug.
While $7 million seems like a large sum, experiences in Colorado and Washington show profits and tax revenue grow incrementally.
“Previous studies incorrectly assume that all demand will quickly shift to regulated markets,” the researchers noted in their report released Monday. “In our experience, such assumptions are naïve.”
The Marijuana Policy Group, an organization of Colorado researchers and economic consultants, based their analysis on sales in Colorado. Their project is modest for Alaska despite being aware that Alaskans consume 18 metric tons of marijuana a year. Those purchases come from sales through the black market, medical caregivers, home growers and the re-sale of medical marijuana on the black market.