Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a $60 Million blind spot, in the form of a giant cannabis leaf.
His successor Phil Murphy, who campaigned on a platform that included elevating The Garden State to join the growing number of legal cannabis that have legalized cannabis, now estimates that his bold decision may bring in $60 Million in annual revenues.
The new money couldn't come a moment too soon: the 2017 federal tax reform package could signal an exodus from New Jersey as high taxpayers seek low-or-no income tax states as refuge.
The Cannabist article states that New Jersey Treasury officials say they examined revenues for the first year of legalized recreational cannabis from Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington and considered those states’ populations as compared to New Jersey’s and arrived at the $60 million figure.
Apparently Governor Murphy estimated on the campaign trail that cannabis taxes could raise $300 Million. Either that's a 5-year estimate (approximately the length of his term in office) or... we don't know where that figure came from, but it was endorsed by the New Jersey Policy Perspective.
In fairness, it should be noted that no comparative tax revenue figures are yet available for California, which legalized recreational cannabis in January following 20 years of legal medicinal sales. Tax comparisons for Nevada (3 Million),
Colorado (5.6 Million), and Washington (7.4 Million) would necessarily be estimates next to New Jersey (9 Million) which also sits next to major population centers (New York City, Philadelphia) where recreational use is still not allowed.
Image source: http://www.brianbockerink.com