Recreational Marijuana Market Worth $3.1 Billion in New York, Says Comptroller

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says the state stands to gain $435.7 million in annual tax revenue from adult-use marijuana. Stringer presented the findings of his research into Colorado and other legal marijuana markets to CNBC this week and said the market is worth $3.1 billion.

During the CNBC segment “Power Lunch,” Scott discussed the many benefits New York could gain by regulating marijuana. He called it “a new revenue stream,” pointing out that the industry currently exists on the black market where it provides no benefits to the state and is dangerous due to lack of regulations.

Stringer authored a report based on research into four years of marijuana regulations in Colorado and other states. He estimates there 1.5 million marijuana users in New York, 548,000 of which live in New York City. His revenue estimates for the legal market assume each user would spend an average of $2,080 annually on the drug.

This money, which is currently funding black market operations, could be used for state infrastructure, schools, and other under-funded programs.

Though the focus of his report was on the economic impact of recreational marijuana use in the New York City, Stringer said he looked beyond the money when researching Colorado. Social factors such as underage drug use and opioid addiction could not be excluded from the conversation, he said.

According to Stringer, Colorado observed a drop in both underage marijuana use and opioid addiction after legalizing marijuana. Regulations also improved the safety of the product available as compared to illegal marijuana through product standards and testing.

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