Tagged cannabis plants grow in the Outliers Collective's cultivation facility in San Diego County, California in October 2016. (Vince Chandler, The Denver Post)

Legal California cannabis could deliver $1 billion in pot taxes. Here’s how they’ll spend it

It’s estimated that legalized recreational marijuana in California will deliver $1 billion in sales tax revenues annually to the state.

Some of the target sources for the funds include research on the impacts on legalization, the development of roadside protocols to determine marijuana impairment, drug use prevention and treatment, programs for at-risk youth, law enforcement and waterways restoration.

What’s missing from that list — schools and public infrastructure — have emerged as points of contention, says Brooke Edwards Staggs, a marijuana for the Orange County Register in California.

Staggs joins The Cannabist Show to discuss California marijuana taxes with The Cannabist’s editor-in-chief, Ricardo Baca.

“None of the money specifically goes toward that,” she says. “There’s obviously opportunity for local cities, if they impose their own taxes or if they have a boost in regular sales tax, to get that money back to do some of those kinds of things; but it’s not like a certain percentage of that $1 billion is going to build new schools or roads or things like that.”

That’s intentional, she says.

“(Proponents of legalization measure Proposition 64), don’t want to incentivize people, communities to depend on pot money to keep their schools operating and to pave the roads and encourage more use because they’ll get more money from that,” she says.

Watch the full episode of The Cannabist Show