A new economic analysis shows that legalizing cannabis in Texas would generate up to a half a billion dollars annually in tax revenue as well as create tens of thousands of jobs in the state.
Vicente Sederberg LLP, a national firm that specializes in cannabis law and policy, found that if given the estimated adult-use cannabis market, Texas would reach $2.7 billion annually in cannabis sales. Legalizing cannabis in the state would also raise an additional $10 million in business licensing fees, which would help offset the cost of starting a cannabis regulatory program. The report adds Texas would save an estimated $311 million a year in criminal justice resources if cannabis were legalized in the state.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and tens of thousands of new jobs would be especially helpful in overcoming the losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg, in a news release. “Texas is leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by keeping cannabis illegal.”
The report found between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs would be created directly in the industry, along with tens of thousands of ancillary jobs such as construction work, HVAC installers and manufacturers and electric and water service providers. Legal cannabis would also bring in a lot more tourists, enough that Colorado Governor Jared Polis jokingly told Texas to not legalize cannabis so his state keeps reaping the benefits of cannabis tourism.
The University of Connecticut also released a study that projected how much money legal recreational cannabis could bring to Connecticut. The study, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, found the state could bring in up to $100 million in tax revenue in just four years.