July 15, 2009
California tax officials say a state proposal to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue.
A State Board of Equalization report released Wednesday estimates marijuana retail sales would bring $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes.
The bill introduced by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in February would allow adults to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana.
Ammiano has promoted the bill as a way to help bridge the state's $26.3 billion budget shortfall.
As the bill is written, the state could not begin collecting taxes under the bill until the federal government legalizes marijuana.
A spokesman says Ammiano plans to amend the bill to remove that provision.