, February 28, 2024 Student presentation exploring how states tax marijuana and allocate the revenues

Source:Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network



This time of year, I get excited about all sorts of March activities: the NCAA tournament, the shift to Daylight Savings Time, the approach of MLB opening day and my own golf season.  But, as long-time readers of this blog may know, March is also when students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar “take over” my class through presentations on the research topics of their choice.  Before their presentations, students are expected to provide in this space some background on their topic and links to some readings or relevant materials.  The first of our presentations taking place in class next week will be looking at state tax issues.  Here is how my student has described his topic along with background readings he has provided for  classmates (and the rest of us):

In addition to creating a healthy market, all adult-use legal states seem to share a few common goals when it comes to regulating adult-use marijuana: (1) prevent substance abuse; (2) restrict minors from using marijuana; (3) stifle the development of illicit markets; and (4) prevent persons from operating motor vehicles while under the influence of marijuana.

All states try in some form or another to incorporate these goals into their marijuana taxation schemes. That is, to use revenue collected from marijuana taxes and put it towards funds that help accomplish the state’s goals. But which revenue allocation schemes seem to best accomplish those goals? For example, to accomplish the goals of preventing substance abuse and restricting minors from using marijuana, is it better to allocate revenue to a general law enforcement fund, or to allocate that revenue to a social equity fund with the stated purpose of investing in substance abuse prevention and youth development? And can we learn anything from the history of the taxation of other products, such as alcohol, tobacco, or gambling?

This presentation provides a brief outline of my paper which analyzes what marijuana taxation schemes seem to best accomplish the shared goals of states.

Sources (Categorized)

State Tax Allocation Schemes

Risks of Overfunding Law Enforcement; Risks of Underfunding Marijuana Enforcement Training

Substance Abuse and Youth Development

Learning from Sin Taxes (Westlaw links)

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