Thanks to editor Ben Adlin, who clarified some of my muddied thinking and made the piece much more readable: https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/opinion-theres-a-better-way-to-tax-legal-cannabis
Like it or not, most voters—not to mention politicians—like cannabis taxesbetter than they like cannabis itself. Cannabis consumers supposedly make up only about 20% of the public in fully legal states. The other 80% are bystanders, wondering, in the American capitalist way, “What’s in it for me?”
Not convinced? Consider: Initiatives to legalize and tax cannabis tend to max out at around 57% of the vote, if they pass at all. Standalone cannabis tax initiatives, meanwhile, routinely get 75% to 80%. And no state has legalized commercial sale of nonmedical cannabis without taxing it.