Legislation that would exempt medical marijuana from sales taxes would cost $24.3 million per year to Florida’s tax receipts, according to an estimate by state economists Friday.
It would impose a number of restrictions on marijuana use — no smoking, vaping, or edibles, for example, although a terminally ill patient could vape.
The bill would take effect upon becoming law, and the state Revenue Estimating Conference concluded the state would have collected around $400,000 in pot taxes by that time.
As more people become eligible to use marijuana to treat medical conditions, the cost to state revenues would hike up to $24.3 million by 2021.
The Legislature could not use the money in the meantime to fund ongoing programs, although it would be available for one-time use each year, said Amy Baker, director of the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
The conference dropped plans to calculate the effect of House legislation on pari-mutuel, card room, and Seminole Indian gambling. The House is taking a less permissive approach to gambling than the Senate is.
“It just means they weren’t ready for us to meet on it yet,” Baker said.