University of Montana Study Estimates Legal Cannabis Could Generate Up to $52 Million in Annual Tax Revenue


The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research released a study earlier this month estimating that a legal cannabis market in the state could generate between $43.4 million and $52 million in annual tax revenue, according to an NBC Montana report.

The figures are based on a 20% tax on legal cannabis sales that is included in Initiative 190, a measure on Montana’s 2020 ballot that would legalize adult-use cannabis in the state.

RELATED: Montana Legalization Campaign Looks Ahead to November Ballot Issue

New Approach Montana, the campaign behind the ballot initiative, submitted enough signatures in June to place two complementary measures on this year’s ballot. I-90 is a statutory initiative that would legalize, regulate and tax cannabis, and CI-118 is a constitutional initiative that would set the legal age for purchasing, possessing and consuming cannabis at 21.

The Montana Secretary of State certified both measures for the November ballot in August, and the Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning estimated at that time that legal cannabis could generate $3.5 million in tax revenue in fiscal year 2022, with the market growing to $38.5 million in 2025, according to a Great Falls Tribune report.

I-90 mandates that 10.5% of the tax revenue generated from an adult-use cannabis market must go into the state’s general fund, which supports many different programs, although an estimated 54% of the funds go toward K-12 education, NBC Montana reported.

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