State Auditor Kathy McGuiness: Delaware Could See $43 Million Annually from Regulating, Taxing Marijuana for Adult Use

DOVER, DELAWARE – State Auditor Kathy McGuiness released a report today showing that Delaware could realize more than $43 million in annual tax revenue from the regulation and taxation of legal marijuana.

In a new special report titled “Millions in Revenue Anticipated from Legalizing Marijuana in Delaware,” McGuiness said that regulating the sale of marijuana for adult use would also allow for new business formation and the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs over five years.

“Forty-three million dollars in state tax revenue would be a boon to Delaware’s coffers,” McGuiness said. “That money could be used to plug budget holes in the short term and would continue to provide revenue for all kinds of important initiatives in the long term.”

The special report uses publicly available data to determine that legalizing marijuana use for adults 21 and older would create a $215 million industry in the state. It assumes a reasonable 20 percent excise tax to reach the $43 million figure.

“Statistics show that public opinion on allowing recreational marijuana for adult use has changed dramatically in the last few years, with a majority of Delawareans now supporting it,” McGuiness said. “The prohibition on marijuana has only led to a robust black market, which could be minimized by responsible and thoughtful legalization.”

The report also examines other states’ current or proposed regulatory frameworks for taxing the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana.

“With neighboring states either legalizing it or considering doing so, taking action now is the only way to prevent Delaware from being at a competitive disadvantage in the future,” McGuiness said. “The First State cannot and should not be the last state to approve legalization in the region.”

The new special report can be located on the Auditor’s Office website found here.

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov, 302-857-3931

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

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State Auditor Kathy McGuiness Releases Review of State’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard

DOVER, DELAWARE – Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness today published a special report titled Delaware’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard Opportunities and Successes: How Well Does Delaware’s Data Tool Allow for an Accurate and Timely Response to the Pandemic, which focuses on the state’s approach to collecting and reporting on coronavirus case data in the early stages of the pandemic.

The report utilizes information obtained on the state’s websites, specifically its data dashboard – used to publish coronavirus case data to determine how Delaware’s approach to virus mitigation compares to best practices and tools promoted by other states.

“Ensuring Delaware is making decisions and developing its virus response on sound, quality data is vital to our success in keeping the public safe and spending resources appropriately, said McGuiness. This report is meant to commend the state in areas where it’s doing well and shine a light on opportunities for improvement.”

The report addresses 15 essential indicators that a group led by former CDC Director, Dr. Frieden regarded as necessary for success that served as the benchmark. Although the report concentrates on the state’s initial response to control the virus, it also acknowledges the improvements made to collect and report information over time.

“Our hope is that the state will consider our recommendations to enhance internal controls, communications, and monitoring to improve even further because this fight is not over and no state should have to be an island,” said McGuiness. “Collaboration is key.”

A copy of the report can be found here: https://auditor.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2020/12/COVID-SPECIAL-REPORT-12-2.pdf

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov, 302-857-3931

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov

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