The Office of Legislative Services, a nonpartisan Statehouse bureau that assists with crafting and studying legislation, estimates that New Jersey would bring in a little over $210 million in state taxes from nearly $1.8 billion in annual marijuana sales according to its fiscal impact study of the legal weed bill.
That estimate was derived from comparing New Jersey and Colorado populations in 2017, as well as Colorado marijuana sales that year. It represents less than 1 percent of the nearly $38 million state budget,
“It’s hard to say whether it’s going to be a huge revenue stream. I don’t think it’s going to have a huge impact in terms of trying to reduce property taxes,” Rutgers University-Camden associate public policy professor Michael Hayes said. “In the short run, it’s kind of hard to really know how this is all going to play out — particularly because there’s not a piece of legislation that’s passed yet."
As written, the legal weed bill would give New Jersey the cheapest marijuana tax in the nation, which is believed to be a main bone of contention between legislators and Gov. Phil Murphy's office, which called for a 25 percent marijuana tax in its 2019 budget.
Instead, the marijuana legalization bill comes with a 12 percent tax — including the standard 6.625 percent sales tax and a 5.375 percent marijuana tax — would also come with a potential 2 percent tax levied by local municipalities hosting marijuana dispensaries.