Montanans consume about 30,000 lbs of marijuana a year.
That estimate is based on California NORML‘s solid scientific review of government data, adjusted for Montana’s much smaller population (1 million compared to 36 million) but slightly higher usage rate (86,000 adults (12%), compared to California’s 11%). Many people are understandably hesitant to volunteer information on government surveys about their law-breaking activities, so these usage estimates are probably low.
Roughly 24,000 pounds is consumed by Montana’s 17,000 daily users — an average of about half an ounce a week.
What does 30,000 lbs look like? Check out this story from LA with pictures of a 25,000 lb bust.
Now suppose that all our 30,000 lbs were sold in legal shops as one-ounce packages, each with a $50 excise tax.
That’d be $24,000,000 in direct tax revenues. Now imagine licensing fees for producers and retailers, payroll taxes, additional jobs created, etc.
Given Montana’s budget problems, we’re thinking it’s high time.