Ohio Group Predicts $2.2B in Sales if State Legalizes Marijuana

A group seeking to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in Ohio estimates that annual retail cannabis sales could hit $2.2 billion by 2020 if its measure passes this November.

It also predicts that cultivators and processors will generate nearly another $2 billion in annual revenues by then, while the state could see up to $554 million in tax money in 2020. The report, issued by ResponsibleOhio, didn’t include estimates for earlier years, even though legal MMJ and rec sales could begin by late 2016 if the ballot measure winds up passing.

The figures are based on the assumption that the estimated legal use in Ohio would be more than 244 metric tons of cannabis by that year.

By contrast, dispensaries and retail stores in Colorado sold nearly $700 million in cannabis in 2014, the first full year of rec sales that can be analyzed.

ResponsibleOhio said the immense number has been “preliminarily validated” by the Cleveland economics firm Burke, Rosen & Associates, according to a press release. The initial numbers, however, were prepared by campaign staff, said ResponsibleOhio spokeswoman Lydia Bolander.

The campaign’s formula is based on methodology used by the Rand Corporation and Botec Analysis Corp., both of which produced forecasts for Colorado and Washington, Bolander said. But neither of those two states have garnered anywhere near half a billion in tax revenue. At least not yet.

“Because we’ve leveled a 15% tax at everybody who is involved in producing that product, the level gets up there pretty quickly,” Bolander said.

Bolander said the estimate represents an “optimistic middle of the road” forecast.

ResponsibleOhio is still waiting for permission from state agencies to begin collecting signatures so their ballot initiative can qualify for the November ballot. If it passes, the earliest that rec and MMJ shops could open would likely be late next year, Bolander said.

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4 comments on “Ohio Group Predicts $2.2B in Sales if State Legalizes Marijuana
  1. Tom Richards on

    Very excited to see Responsible Ohio and their initiatives. They look promising to the growth, development, and stability to the legalization campaign in OH.

  2. Green Coast Supply on

    This is the worst possible mmj measure ever introduced. Production would be in the hands of a few wealthy investors. Open up the free market. Let the best man win. If your product is low quality you should not be propped up by regulatory structures that benefit a few well-connected folks. I will vote no on this measure and will campaign against it. Just because it says it legalizes mmj doesn’t mean that it is good for our community.

  3. dan f on

    Responsible Ohio is anything but responsible. It should be called the wealthy take all initiative.Limited grow sites, limited dispensaries, all owned by a handful of wealthy investors. Only allowed to grow four plants on your own, this is to keep you dependent on on this initiative. Vote no on Responsible Ohio. And why won’t Mike DeWine allow Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis to put forth their initiative. I’ll tell you why in a nutshell. It is not a wealthy take all proposition. All Ohio citizens can benefit from this proposal. You will be allowed to grow twenty four personal plants. The similarities in the names of these proposals is no coincidence. It is a ploy by Responsible Ohio to confuse you, and you will think they are one and the same. THEY ARE NOT!! Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis has been around since 2011. Responsible Ohio is a new proposal. Don’t let the name fool you.

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