LOS ANGELES (AP) — So far, there’s been no tax windfall from legal marijuana in California.
Broad legal sales kicked off on Jan. 1, and state officials had estimated that California would bank $175 million from cultivation and excise taxes by the end of June.
But estimates released Tuesday by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office show $34 million came in between January and March, appearing well behind those initial projections.
“The excise tax revenue numbers announced today are abysmally below what Californians were promised when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis,” said Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell who heads the Business and Professions Committee. “The state must take all possible action to defeat the black market and support good actors, or else our newly established regulatory scheme will surely fail.”
State economist Seth Kerstein said tax collections are expected to pick up significantly in coming months, but it appears unlikely the state