OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In a little more than a month, Oklahomans across the state will decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in the Sooner State.
On March 7, voters will head to the polls to voice their opinion on State Question 820.
Organizers say State Question 820 will safely legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana for adults who are 21-years-old and older in Oklahoma. The marijuana would be subject to a 15% sales tax, as well as state and local sales taxes.
Supporters say the move will generate state revenue for schools, health care, and local governments.
However, critics argue that the state needs to place more restrictions on the marijuana industry, not less.
On Thursday, organizers of ‘Yes on 820’ released a report about the economic impact legalizing marijuana would have on the state.
If the measure passes, it would generate nearly half a billion dollars in new marijuana tax revenue in the first five years, according to an economic analysis released by national cannabis law and policy firm Vicente Sederberg LLP and the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association.
In all, supporters say the state would generate more than $821 million in total marijuana tax revenue, including medical and recreational use, during that time period.
The report claims that annual tax revenue for recreational marijuana would exceed $65.7 million in 2024. It would gradually increase to nearly $105 million by 2028, supporters claim.
The same day the economic report was released, ‘Protect Our Kids No 820’ was formed.
“The already out-of-control illegal marijuana grows are straining our state’s utility providers and have brought organized crime and violence to rural areas. It is reckless to even consider expanding marijuana access,” stated Rodd Moesel, President of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and a member of the coalition. “To have execution style killings near Hennessey should be a wake-up call that now is not the time to lessening regulation and to throw things even more wide open.”
Oklahomans overwhelmingly voted to approve medical marijuana in 2018.