According to news reports, so-called “medical” marijuana is now a multi-million dollar business in Arkansas.
KFSM reports Arkansans have spent more than $23 million on marijuana this year.
We estimate that about $2.4 – $2.5 million of that money will go to the state in taxes.
However, that still may not be enough tax revenue to cover all the expenses the State of Arkansas incurs managing and policing “medical” marijuana.
In 2016 the Department of Finance and Administration estimated that “medical” marijuana would cost its offices and the Arkansas Department of Health $2.3 – $3.3 million every year, and the Arkansas State Police estimated it would need an additional $1.4 million per year to police the program.
Altogether, that’s $3.7 – $4.7 million that the state must spend every year on marijuana just for those departments.
At this point, even if marijuana continues to be a multi-million dollar business in Arkansas, it’s unclear whether the state will receive enough tax revenue from it to cover all the costs associated with marijuana.
That means regular taxpayers could end up footing part of the bill.