Economic Windfall: Florida Eyes Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Economic Windfall: Florida Eyes Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Could The Florida Marijuana Amendment Raise Tax Revenue For Local Communities?

Closer to November, expect supporters of the amendment to showcase the possibilities of tax revenue that could benefit the state and local municipalities. The claim is that millions, or even billions, of dollars could be allocated to schools and the police.

Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana point to a recent study from July of 2023, where some Florida economists believe that $195 million to $431 million could be brought into the Sunshine State annually. 

The study, which was conducted by the Florida Legislature and the Office of Economic and Demographic Research analyzed other states and how they collected taxes.

The pro-Amendment 3 group, Smart and Safe Florida, says several states are using the dollars from marijuana tax revenue to fund teacher pay, education, criminal justice, and policing.

Attorney John Morgan, an Amendment 3 backer, says marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco.

Amendment 3 isn’t the first to be marketed as a potential revenue generator for the state.

Back in the 2000’s, proponents of offshore drilling were floating a possible state amendment that would allow oil and gas exploration off the coast of Florida.

Oil analysts then claimed the state could see $2 billion in annual revenue. 

In two years, another proposal that may be revived as an amendment is gambling expansion. Supporters of the gambling industry say that would generate massive revenue for state coffers.

With state and local government always looking for extra revenue, an increase of elected officials will likely be seen touting the tax benefits if Amendment 3 is passed.

“If you can sell that the tax proceeds from the amendment could be used to help with affordability living, or infrastructure needs, education, mental health and fund the police, it’s a good chance voters will support it,” said Jacksonville city Councilman Rory Diamond.

Even if the marijuana amendment is passed, state lawmakers will have the final say on who would receive tax revenue.

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Region: Florida

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