Estimate: Legal Rec Sales in DC Could Create $130M Market

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The cannabis market in Washington DC could top $130 million annually if the city legalizes recreational marijuana sales, according to estimates by financial officials.

The projection is based on an estimate of 122,000 users – including residents, commuters and tourists – consuming an average of 3 ounces a year at $350 per ounce, the Washington Post reported.

Residents will vote on a ballot initiative next week that would legalize the possession and home cultivation of small amounts of marijuana – not the actual sale of cannabis.

But an early measure before the city council would help establish an industry and clear the way for sales through retail shops. That initiative proposes a sales tax of 15% on marijuana transactions, which suggests annual government revenues of about $20 million.

Financial officials declined to estimate tax revenue, however, because the regulatory proposal isn’t yet finished, and it’s difficult to determine how many users will migrate from the black market, the Post reported.