Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Pennsylvania is missing out on $581 million per year in revenue by not regulating and taxing marijuana — money that he says could fund critical initiatives that affect Pennsylvanians’ lives.
“My estimate is Pennsylvania could realize at least $581 million per year in tax revenue,” DePasquale said Thursday. “Let that number sink in- $581 million conservatively without a broad based tax increase on any single Pennsylvanian.”
According to a special report issued by DePasquale, taxing the growth, cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana at a rate of 35 percent would conservatively allow the state to collect over a half billion dollars per year.
Just over 8 percent of the adult residents of Pennsylvania (nearly 800,000 people) currently admit to using marijuana at least monthly. According to DePasquale, an even higher percentage of people would approve of this decision.
“According to recent polling, right now 61 percent of all Americans support legalizing marijuana,” he said.
The money collected from the legalization and taxation of marijuana could be used to help balance the state budget and provide improved access to health insurance and opioid treatment.