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Legalization Would Boost Arkansas Economy By $2.36B: Study

Marijuana legalization could increase Arkansas’ GDP by $2.36 billion and increase employment by 6,400 jobs

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Some mighty dubious TV ads are airing right now in Arkansas’ marijuana legalization battle. The sketchy ads in question raise the supposed specter of roadways running red with blood if pot is legal. Those claims are misleading to the point of fiction, reports the Marijuana Policy Project. And now the group behind the amendment has answered with some much more solid facts and figures of their own.

Responsible Growth Arkansas had economists at Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) analyze the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment (AAUCA). That’s RGA’s proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot in Arkansas, reports Ozarks First.

“The measurable economic impact of introducing an adult-use marijuana market, including economic activity diverted from illicit markets, is estimated to increase state gross domestic product (GDP) by up to $2.36 billion over five years and increase employment of up to 6,400 jobs by 2027,” said Michael R. Pakko, Ph.D., chief economist and state economic forecaster for AEDI.

$303.6 Million In Additional Sales Tax Revenue

The AEDI’s report details the research findings. Those economic numbers cover a five-year forecast period from 2023 to 2027.

In just the first year alone, analysts expect the combined adult-use and medical Cannabis sales to double, reports Marijuana Moment. That’s when compared to current sales for medical cannabis alone.

Legalization wouldn’t just increase Arkansas’ GDP and create thousands of new jobs. According to this study, legalization via the AAUCA means over $303.6 million in added sales tax revenue.

The AAUCA allocates $45.5 million for police, $30.4 million for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and $15.2 million for drug courts. The remaining $212.5 million is available in the “general revenue” fund.

“As A Former Sheriff, I Am Proud To Support And Vote For The Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment”

“Well-funded police departments are critical for our local communities, said Lance Huey, RGA vice chairman. “As a former Sheriff, I am proud to support and vote for the Arkansas Adult Use Cannabis Amendment, aka Issue 4.

“Issue 4 will keep our communities and children safer by providing much-needed funding for law enforcement and drug courts,” Huey said.

“We are officially on the ballot and have a great story to tell the voters of Arkansas,” said Eddie Armstrong, RGA chairman. “Voters can create a new adult-use cannabis industry by voting FOR Issue 4 on November 8th. Issue 4 will provide Arkansans with thousands of new good-paying jobs and hundreds of millions in new tax revenue.”

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