Money may not grow on trees, but it apparently does grow on marijuana plants. If all 50 states legalized cannabis today, they’d be collectively raking in more than $3 billion a year in taxes.
That’s according to NerdWallet, a personal finance site, which forecasts a total $3.1 billion annual windfall for state governments that legalize the popular plant.
California would gain the most from legalization. NerdWallet projects the Golden State would generate more than $519 million per year, which the website points out would almost fund the entire 2013 budget for California’s Department of Parks and Recreation. New York would be second, with $248 million, NerdWallet said. Seven additional states would bring in $100 million or more from legalization, and 25 others would stand to make at least $20 million per year.
NerdWallet’s estimate assumed a flat, 15 percent excise tax on marijuana — the same as Colorado’s excise tax on recreational marijuana sales. NerdWallet added state and local sales taxes to that figure.