The measurable economic impact of introducing an adult-use marijuana market is estimated to increase state gross domestic product by up to $2.36 billion over five years
According to a report from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), the state’s medical cannabis sales have hit $200 million in 2022, with patients spending $23.9 million at 38 licensed dispensaries in September, to obtain 4,571 pounds of cannabis, reported KNWA.
“Patients spent approximately $800,000 daily in September on medical marijuana purchases,” said Scott Hardin, a spokesperson for the DFA. “Additionally, 4,571 pounds is the largest month for sales in 2022. Through the first nine months of 2022, patients have spent $205 million to obtain 36,600 pounds of medical marijuana. We anticipate 2022 sales will surpass the $264.9 million spent in 2021,” added Hardin.
There are 92,035 patients already enrolled in the medical cannabis program. The legalization of recreational marijuana by adults is Issue 4 on the Arkansas general election ballot. If Arkansas voters approve the initiative this November, the market could see more than $460 million in tax revenue over five years. According to the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI), the legalization of adult-use cannabis would create 6,400 jobs by 2027.
“The measurable economic impact of introducing an adult-use marijuana market, including economic activity diverted from illicit markets, is estimated to increase state gross domestic product by up to $2.36 billion over five years,” said Michael Pakko, chief economist at AEDI.
The five-year analysis found that Arkansas could see yearly sales reach $984 million by 2027 and $163.1 million in revenue from the standard state sales tax on marijuana purchases.
Supplemental revenue would be distributed as follows: $45.5 million in annual stipends for law enforcement, $34 million for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, $15.2 million for drug courts in the state and $212.5 million for a general fund.
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted wit permission.