New York could make some serious green on legalized pot
Get high on this: New York government would hit the jackpot if the state legalizes marijuana, according to a report released Tuesday by Comptroller Scott Stringer.
The analysis said the state could generate $436 million annually and New York City $336 million by taxing the sale of marijuana in what would be a $3 billion market.
Stringer said the money generated could be used to aid communities ”most damaged by decades of criminalizing marijuana usage and possession.”
“This is not just about dollars — it’s about justice. Not only is marijuana an untapped revenue source for the City and the State, but the prosecution of marijuana-related crimes has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic communities for far too long,” Stringer said.
“There is simply no reason for New York to be stuck in the dark ages. This new analysis shows just how much New York City and State stand to benefit by moving toward legalization.”
The report estimates there are roughly 1.5 million pot smokers throughout the Empire State — including 550,000 in New York City.
That creates a potential market of $3.1 billion statewide for legalized weed, including $1.1 billion in the Big Apple.
The study assumes New York pot smokers would spend about $2,080 a year each to get high, similar to what consumers spend in Washington and Colorado, two states where marijuana sales are already legal.
The study assumes the city would impose the same 25 percent excise tax on marijuana that is currently levied on cigarettes and booze, to generate $336 million.
Stringer envisions the state government combining a 10 percent excise tax and 4 percent sales tax to yield $436 million.
Stringer insisted he’s not blowing smoke.
If anything, he said, his projections are conservative.
The estimates don’t include potential sales