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Pew Charitable Trusts Report: Tax Revenue from Recreational Cannabis is Hazy

Bea Brooks



Pew Charitable Trusts Report: Tax Revenue from Recreational Cannabis is Hazy

According to a report by the Pew Charitable Trust, tax revenue from recreational marijuana is unpredictable, perhaps in part due to the lack of historical data.

The report explains that there are challenges of forecasting marijuana revenue. Josh Lehner, a senior economist with Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis stated in the report, “the biggest issue is lack of data, lack of history.” He added, “For standard forecasting models, it’s helpful to have more detail about demographics, consumption, and product types. We’re not there, and other states I’ve talked to aren’t there yet either.”

The absence of reliable information makes it difficult to determine how much tax revenue has been collected. Further, there is on indication that whatever tax reports are generated predict future revenue because of changes in demand, consumption, and the like.


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