$20,666,145 in collected state & local Excise & Sales Taxes.(so far) That's the real impact for Oklahoma govt., because the people said, "Let those suffering people have access to their medicine!"
But that's not even close to the full picture of what this has done for giving the state an infusion of new cash. The new business licenses to the OMMA brought in $17,960,000 already. The patient licenses also brought in roughly $12,000,000 (if we assume that one of every 3 applicants was on an approved govt. program which qualified for an 80% discount license fee).
Cost of running the OMMA
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) is the branch of the state Health Dept. which is statutorily tasked with managing this new program. They received a generous budget of about $8.5 million for this current fiscal year.
Sales of medicine through the end of July are now $133,329,963. Almost all of that came in the past 7 months. the State's portion of taxation on the product is 11.5%, or $15,332,745.
So the local govts. somehow got over $5 million that the statutes did not approve. It was done through a ruling from the Oklahoma Tax Commission, that the 7% tax that we voters approved, was really intended to be an unusual category of taxation known as excise tax.
Other State Beneficiaries of Marijuana Taxes
- $27,375,000 is awarded to the state Dept. of Education, for common education. Higher Ed. is not a named recipient.
- $9,125,000 is awarded to drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs operated by the Dept. of Health, despite the fact that the Oklahoma Dept. of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is the proper department for that function of state govt.
- So the State Health Dept. of Health needs to develop a legitimate use for the roughly $27 million they will be awarded for substance abuse services. In other words, Marijuana use will help solve alcohol abuse in multiple ways.
- And our public schools will get an $85 million infusion, which is more than enough to pay for all campus law enforcement personnel and to ramp up efforts at preventing exploitation of children from black market drug cartels.