BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Erie County Executive, who now plans to run for governor, says marijuana tax revenues could bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state.

Candidate Joel Giambra was originally aiming for the Republican nomination in this year’s gubernatorial race, but later decided to run as an independent candidate.

According to Giambra, based on research he commissioned, an excise tax of 13 percent on top of local and state taxes on legal marijuana would annually bring in $500 million for New York.

In addition to that, Giambra says the money could finance state bonding of $12.2 billion in five years’ time.

“The money generated from legalizing marijuana would go a long way toward dealing with our state’s crumbling roads and bridges and help with the equally daunting challenge of fixing the broken New York City metropolitan transit system,” Giambra said. “Legalizing the adult use of marijuana is a cornerstone of my campaign for governor.  I pledge that if I win election, it will be one of my major priorities because of the immediate economic benefits it can produce.”

The candidate says that every $1 billion dollars spent on infrastructure in the state will create 13,000 jobs.

Along with cannabis regulation, Giambra says he would get rid of non-violent marijuana convictions, and make sure people who are incarcerated due of those laws are released.

“This is a plan to rebuild New York without continuing to raise taxes,” said Giambra. “There’s another billion dollars in taxes and fees already projected in the Albany pipeline this year to deal with a deficit estimated of at least $4.4 billion.  I think the citizens have had enough.  Let’s take marijuana off the black market, like other states have, and begin to phase in that new revenue stream and put that money to work for the people of New York.”