A 2024 ballot initiative to legalise adult use of cannabis could see Florida generate up to $431.3 million in sales tax if passed.
This figure was estimated by officials at the the state Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC), who also suggested this figure could be higher if an additional excise tax is imposed on retail cannabis sales.
The FIEC financial impact statement reads: “Based on other states’ experiences, expected retail sales of non-medical marijuana would generate at least $195.6 million annually in state and local sales tax revenues once the retail market is fully operational, although the timing of this occurring is unclear…
“Because the $195.6 million sales tax estimate represents the lowest suggested level deemed reliable among the six scenarios reviewed (which ranged upward to $431.3 million), it is probable that future changes, if any, to the tax structure would equal or increase the estimated level of new revenue collections. Such changes would require legislative action.”
While the language is still being reviewed by officials, it also needs to defeat a legal challenge put forward by Attorney General Ashley Moody, who is aiming to prevent the ballot as it is, according to Moody, misleading.
Moody has also accused Trulieve – which has provided more than $38 million in funding to Florida group Smart & Safe which has put forward a petition containing over 965,000 signatures for the ballot – of misleading the public on the matter.
In an opinion submitted to the Supreme Court, Moody suggested that the public are being mislead in a number of ways including: that cannabis would still be illegal as it is federally prohibited; that the ballot would authorise other state licensed businesses outside of medical cannabis centre to grow and sell cannabis; that it limits possession immunity as more than three ounces would be prohibited; and, that the ballot does not cover whether cannabis treatment centres would be regulated for adult use cannabis.