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Legal Marijuana could generate millions in tax revenue

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Legalizing recreational marijuana would net half a billion dollars in new state tax revenue over its first five years. That's according to a new study.

The study was commissioned by the group behind the November ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

The tax revenue projection is based on the size of Michigan’s potential marijuana customer base….paying a 10 percent excise tax and a 6 percent sales tax on marijuana purchases.

Economist Andrew Livingston says four point five million Michiganders are potential customers.

“When you’re analyzing cannabis markets its important to look at the total number of people that have ever consumed.   But the majority of consumption comes from those people who have consumed in the last month or so.”

Money from recreational marijuana sales would be earmarked for roads...schools and local governments.  

Opponents insist there will be a social cost to legalizing marijuana in Michigan.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting. During his two and a half decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic. Q&A