Greens leader Senator Di Natale has declared that legalising cannabis will raise almost $2 billion a year for treatment, education and the health system. Senator Di Natale referenced costings, seen by AJP, that have been extrapolated by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) based on the Greens’ proposal to legalise the production and sale of recreational cannabis in Australia. This proposal includes the establishment of a new agency, the Australian Cannabis Agency, to oversee the regulation of recreational cannabis. The agency would act as the sole wholesaler and would be responsible for issuing production licences to cultivators and sale licences to private retail outlets. Parliamentary Budget Officer Jenny Wilkinson conducted the costing, finding that the proposal would be expected to increase the fiscal balance by $3.58 billion over the 2017-18 Budget forward estimates period, based on a variety of assumptions. Could legalising cannabis raise $2 billion a year?
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