Capitol Alert

California's marijuana tax collections lag below expectations

Lobbyist talks about benefits of medical cannabis for her dog, Bobby

Lobbyist Pamela Lopez's dog, Bobby, uses VET CBD oil to treat his anxiety. Lopez discusses an assembly bill that would allow veterinarians to talk to pet owners about the medical use of cannabis for their pets.
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Lobbyist Pamela Lopez's dog, Bobby, uses VET CBD oil to treat his anxiety. Lopez discusses an assembly bill that would allow veterinarians to talk to pet owners about the medical use of cannabis for their pets.

California probably won’t get a windfall in tax revenue from its newly legal marijuana market this year.

The state collected $34 million in cannabis taxes between January and March, according to an update released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office on Tuesday.

That’s behind the pace Gov. Jerry Brown projected in his January budget proposal. At the time, he anticipated that the state would gain about $175 million in revenue from cannabis taxes between January and June of this year.

There’s still time for cannabis taxes to catch up, but Seth Kerstein, an economist at the Legislative Analyst’s Office, said the final tally likely will come in under Brown’s estimate.

California’s Proposition 64 in 2016 legalized recreational cannabis. At the time, supporters estimate that retail cannabis would eventually yield about $1 billion a year in state and local tax revenue.

Brown in his January budget proposal did not count on cannabis delivering that kind of jolt to state coffers.

He’s expected to release a revised budget proposal on Friday. Aside from cannabis, the state appears to have a fairly sunny budget picture. Total tax revenue is running about $3.6 billion ahead of Brown’s projections, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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