LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – If the recreational marijuana ballot measure passes, estimates have it pumping significant money into Arkansas.
Talk Business and Politics reported Wednesday that a study commissioned by Responsible Growth Arkansas and performed by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute gave an economic model of marijuana sales reaching $984 million by 2027. Sales going that size would generate $260 million in taxes for the state, the study concluded.
Responsible Growth is the group that worked to put the recreational marijuana amendment on the November ballot. The Arkansas Economic Development Institute is housed at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Revenue was classified as “substantial” in the report published Wednesday.
The study was based upon Arkansas medical marijuana sales coupled with data from states which had moved from medical-only to medical and recreational marijuana sales. If the ballot measure passes, adult non-medical marijuana sales will begin on March 7, 2023. In that year, marijuana sales would move from 2022’s projected $261 million to $665.6 million and continue climbing each year afterward.
Sales tax revenues would increase by $163.1 million, with an additional $303.6 million from the 10% supplemental sales tax on recreational marijuana. This would raise $286.5 million in tax revenue compared to the sale of medical-only marijuana, per the study.
The study also shows 5,200 jobs added to the state. One component of this would be the increase in marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities, currently limited to 32 and five, respectively. The amendment for adult use of marijuana without medical authorization would raise these respective numbers to 120 and 12.
A ballot measure approving medical marijuana was approved by 53% of voters in 2016. A recent poll by Talk Business and Hendrix College showed the majority of Arkansans are in favor of recreational marijuana.
Further analysis is available at TB&P.