Analysis: Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Yield Over $10 Billion in New Tax Revenue

Washington, DC: State-authorized sales of retail marijuana products have yielded more than $10 billion in new tax revenue, according to an analysis compiled by the Marijuana Policy Project. 

“Legalizing cannabis for adults has been a wise investment,” authors of the report concluded. “Since 2014 when sales began in Colorado and Washington, legalization policies have provided states a new revenue stream to bolster budgets and fund important services and programs. As of December 2021, states reported a combined total of $10.4 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales. In addition to revenue generated for statewide budgets, cities and towns have also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue from local adult-use cannabis taxes.”

These revenues have been used to fund various state-specific projects, MPP’s analysis reported. In Colorado, for instance, over $470 million in cannabis-specific tax revenue has been applied toward public schools. In Washington, some $600 million in revenue has been directed toward public health initiatives, including a fund that provides health insurance to low-income families. In California, over $100 million in revenue has been provided to community investment programs and local nonprofit groups. 

In every state permitting adult-use sales, marijuana tax revenues have grown year-over-year.

Full text of the report, “Cannabis Tax Revenue in States that Regulate Cannabis for Adult Use,” is available online. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Marijuana Regulation: Impact of Health, Safety, Economy.’

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