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ANCHORAGE — Passage of Ballot Measure 2 could generate more than $72.5 million in tax revenue in the first five years of legal marijuana sales, according to a new report from an independent research organization. It could bring in more than $8.5 million in the first year and nearly $24 million per year by 2020. The full report is available here.
The study was conducted by the Marijuana Policy Group, a collaborative effort between university researchers and economic research consultants, which does not take a stance on whether marijuana should be legal. According to a report by the Washington Post, the organization received no payment for the study and chose to undertake it because the State of Alaska did not perform the research on its own.
Statement from Chris Rempert of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting Ballot Measure 2:
“The report confirms that regulating marijuana like alcohol would produce significant new revenue for our state. Generating new revenue is not the only reason to support ending marijuana prohibition, but it is a good reason.
“Passage of Ballot Measure 2 will not only bolster Alaska’s economy, but also enhance public safety. Regulating marijuana would take tens of millions of dollars in marijuana sales out of the underground market where profits benefit criminals who aren’t paying taxes. It would also ensure marijuana is properly tested, packaged, and labeled, and that cultivation and sales are tightly controlled.
“Marijuana sales are going to take place in Alaska regardless of whether Ballot Measure 2 passes. Voters need to decide whether we should continue forcing those sales into the underground market or allow them to be conducted by legitimate, taxpaying businesses.”