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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nicholas Handy, GoLocalWorcester Contributor

The legalization and taxation of marijuana in Massachusetts has the potential to bring $81.5 million in taxes to the state, according to new research from NerdWallet.com.

Looking to inform the public about potential revenue gains as a result of legalizing and taxing marijuana, NerdWallet crunched some numbers and created a formula similar to the one used to project potential tax dollars in Colorado.

“Everyone knows that legalizing and taxing marijuana would create tax revenue, but we wanted to work to put a number on it,” said Divya Raghavan, who wrote the report. “I think that this might help to educate people and maybe even change the perception of those who might be on the fence. We aren’t looking to change anyone’s minds with this study; we were just looking to add more data to better inform the public.”

Check out the slideshow below to see the statistical break down for all the New England states.

Methodology

To estimate the value of marijuana purchased and consumed, NerdWallet used data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, detailing the percentage of marijuana smokers ages 25 and over in each state and multiplied that percentage by the state’s population older than 25 to get the number of users in each state.

NerdWallet used state and local tax rates compiled by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation to estimate the amount each state would earn in sales tax revenue. They added a 15% excise tax (a tax levied on a specific good, …read more