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How Much Could Missouri Make From Legalizing Pot?

Show-Me Cannabis seeks to legalize marijuana and regulate its medical use.
peter.a photography | Flickr
Show-Me Cannabis seeks to legalize marijuana and regulate its medical use.

Illinois legalized medical marijuana in January. Missouri lawmakers tossed around a few marijuana bills in their last session. Voters in Alaska, Florida, Oregon and Washington, D.C., will cast ballots in November on marijuana initiatives.

Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, and collected almost $7.5 million in marijuana-related tax revenue in August, the second month of the state's fiscal year. Colorado Public Radio reports that since sales began, the state has collected more than $25 million in recreational pot taxes and fees. July was the first month that recreational marijuana sales exceeded medicinal marijuana sales.

In July, we talked to Sgt. Jason Grellner of Franklin County Drug Enforcement and Jeffrey Mittman. executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, about legalizing marijuana in Missouri. Grellner supported prohibition; Mittman supported "full legalization of marijuana — taxation and regulation."

Using data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and tax rates compiled by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, NerdWalletset out to calculate how much each state could earn from the sale of legal recreational marijuana. That analysis puts Missouri in the middle of the pack, earning just shy of $50 million a year. NerdWallet estimates that Illinois could earn about $125 million.

Credit NerdWallet

More on NerdWallet's methodology.

“St. Louis on the Air” discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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