Legislators are concerned about how the legal cannabis revenues are divided


(WBNG) – Southern Plains officials told 12 News that while cannabis legalization is a great opportunity for businesses, there are concerns about the financial burden on local governments.

Jason Garnar (D), executive director of Broome County, said he believes legalization will bring greater gains in the private sector than in the public sector, especially in the early years. Garnar said Monday he would not include projected sales tax revenue on cannabis in the next year’s budget, pointing to the legalization of hemp as a case where revenue has been slow to generate.

The bill currently being voted on would impose a sales tax of thirteen percent on sales of all cannabis products, with four percent going directly to local governments. Of those four percent, one of the percent will go to the local counties while the other three will go to the smaller parishes.

Garnar said he was concerned about how the county will fund some of the costs associated with legalization.

“What I was paying special attention to is the end of sales. So I want to make sure the sheriff is getting enough assistance from the health department because he needs additional assistance,” the county executive said.

Garnar said he learned that the county will be given other funding to offset the cost of social services, as well as the cost of training additional law enforcement personnel to determine if someone is driving under the influence of people.