OKLAHOMA CITY —
Passage of State Question 820 would generate nearly half a billion dollars in new marijuana tax revenue for Oklahoma in the first five years, according to an economic analysis released today by national cannabis law and policy firm Vicente Sederberg LLP and the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association. The state would generate more than $821 million in total marijuana tax revenue, including medical and adult-use marijuana, during that time period.
The full study, “An Economic Impact and Tax Analysis of Oklahoma State Question 820,” can be viewed here.
State Question 820 will be decided by Oklahoma voters in a special election on March 7, 2023. It proposes legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older and establishing a regulated system of production and distribution. Adult-use marijuana would be subject to a 15% sales tax, as well as state and local sales taxes, which would be used to fund critical programs.
According to the analysis, if State Question 820 is approved:
Recreational and medical marijuana sales will generate more than $821 million in tax revenue within the first five years of SQ 820’s implementation, including more than $434 million in new tax revenue on recreational sales.
Annual tax revenue for recreational marijuana will exceed $65.7 million in 2024 (the first year of implementation) and gradually increase to nearly $105 million by 2028.
Total marijuana sales in Oklahoma will exceed $4.3 billion from 2024-2028, including $1.8 billion in recreational sales and $2.5 billion in medical sales.
Regulating marijuana for adults in Oklahoma would have a substantial and lasting economic impact on the state, according to the report’s lead author, Andrew Livingston, director of economics and research at Vicente Sederberg. He has performed similar economic analyses for a wide range of public and private sector clients, including the state of Vermont and the campaign for Michigan Proposal 1, a similar marijuana-related ballot measure. The report was prepared at the request of the Yes on 820 campaign to better understand the initiative’s economic impacts.
“Passage of State Question 820 would fuel economic activity, create jobs, and generate a new permanent stream of tax revenue for the state,” said Livingston. “Marijuana tax revenue is not a panacea, but it can support a lot of critical government services that would otherwise go unfunded.
“With hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and thousands of jobs on the line, the economic stakes are quite high for Oklahoma in the March 7th special election,” Livingston said.
“Legitimate marijuana businesses are on the cusp of becoming a part of a multi-billion dollar industry, and that is a true game changer for our economy, tax revenue, and the future of the state,” said former Republican state Rep. Mike Ervin, a board member for the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bolster economic investment across the state and make major investments into education, health care, and other priorities.”
Michelle Tilley, the Campaign Director for the Yes on 820 campaign, said the new study quantifies what advocates for recreational marijuana have been arguing for years: legalization will provide a massive boost to Oklahoma’s economy and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.
“In the next five years, Oklahoma could reap almost a half billion dollars in new revenue to invest in our public schools, law enforcement agencies, mental health programs, and other priorities,” said Tilley. “This is a game changer when it comes to investing in our children’s futures, the safety of our communities, and even physical infrastructure like roads and bridges.
“Meanwhile, local economies in every corner of the state will benefit from good paying jobs and the creation of a new, multi-billion-dollar industry. We are confident that Oklahoma voters will see these numbers and recognize that we have a golden opportunity to make our state a better and more prosperous place to live by passing State Question 820,” continued Tilley.
For more information on State Question 820, visit https://www.yeson820.com/.
About State Question 820
State Question 820 will safely regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21+ in Oklahoma. It will generate millions of dollars in new funding for important priorities like schools, health care, and public safety. State Question 820 will also enact common sense criminal justice reforms, like expungement, so one small mistake doesn’t ruin someone’s life.
Our measure is a responsible and conservative approach to legalization tailored to Oklahoma, State Question 820 carefully balances personal freedom with responsible regulation. Products will be lab-tested, labeled, tracked from seed-to-sale; and employers will be able to maintain a drug-free workplace.