Revenue, cost estimates hazy on marijuana implementation

With two weeks to go before lawmakers vote on legislation to legalize marijuana, state analysts have yet to calculate the fiscal impact of Maine’s adult-use cannabis bill.

Lawmakers tasked with setting up the new recreational market had projected Maine would collect about $21.4 million a year in taxes once the market matured. On Thursday, the Legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal and Program Review told the committee its proposed rewrite of a voter-approved cannabis law would have netted even more, about $27.7 million a year, before the committee changed its proposed tax scheme.

According to new tax projections from the state Department of Administration and Financial Services, which state analysts hadn’t had an opportunity to review on Thursday, the committee’s decision to levy a combination 10 percent excise and 10 percent sales tax on cannabis will not generate as much revenue as a 20 percent sales tax, although how much less...

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