Auditor sees state tax windfall if marijuana is legalized
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s elected fiscal watchdog says legalizing and taxing the sale and use of marijuana at 35 percent could add more than a half-billion dollars to state coffers.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an analysis Thursday that said there are about 800,000 regular users of the drug in the state.
DePasquale, a Democrat, says the retail market could be about $1.7 billion, based on studies in other states that indicate adult users typically spend about $2,100 a year on marijuana.
Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Possession or sale of the drug for other purposes remains a crime, although Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and several other Pennsylvania cities have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
DePasquale says nearly 21,000 adults were charged last year with low-level marijuana offenses.