Report: WV Could Make Millions by Legalizing Marijuana

Charleston Gazette-Mail - A new report suggests that while legalizing marijuana might not eliminate the state's budgetary woes, it could bring in millions in much-needed revenue. Read

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a nonprofit agency that regularly releases research on progressive causes, released a report Thursday that stated if marijuana was legalized and taxed in West Virginia at a rate of 25 percent of its wholesale price, the state could collect an estimated $45 million annually upon full implementation of the law. At a 15 percent tax rate, marijuana could bring in approximately $26.8 million in additional tax revenue, the center estimated.

Both Ted Boettner, executive director of the agency, and Tara Holmes, summer policy research associate and the author of the report, said that the figures are "ballpark." But even conservative estimates are multimillion-dollar totals.

Boettner said that the state budget office told him they anticipate a $300 million deficit for fiscal year 2018, while Mike McKown, director of the state budget office, said they are still arriving at an estimate.

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