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Gov. Brown’s budget increases cannabis tax revenue estimates despite disappointing first quarter

Gov. Brown’s budget increases cannabis tax revenue estimates despite disappointing first quarter

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Despite disappointing first-quarter cannabis tax revenue numbers, Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised state budget proposal actually increases the amount of money California is expected to make from the first six months of legal marijuana and allocates $133 million to regulate the massive industry.

In his January draft budget, Brown predicted California would take in $175 million in cannabis cultivation and retail taxes by June 30. In his May budget revision released Friday morning, Brown upgraded that anticipated tax revenue to $185 million.

The new budget does slightly reduce the marijuana tax earnings expected in 2018-19 fiscal year, dropping the estimate from $643 million to a revised $630 million.

California Finance Director Michael Cohen said during a press conference Friday in Sacramento that there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding cannabis revenue projections. But he said the estimates for a substantial increase in taxes in coming months is based largely on what happened in states like Colorado and Washington after they launched recreational sales in 2014.

Interested in more coverage of the California marijuana industry? Head to TheCannifornian.com or subscribe to The Cannifornian newsletter to get cannabis-related news, features and more.

“It’s going to show a ramp-up,” Cohen said. “So it’s not surprising that the revenues to date are starting small.”

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