Adult-Use Cannabis Generates Over $20B in State Tax Revenue

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Revenue generated by adult-use cannabis markets in the U.S. is showing its true impact on the economy. According to a report  by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) adult-use cannabis markets generated over $20 billion in tax revenue since launching in Colorado and Washington a decade ago.

In November 2012, Colorado legalized marijuana for adults over age 21 by passing Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution. Washington state followed suit with a ballot initiative during the same month.

Legal markets launched shortly after, and data on states that have implemented adult-use cannabis markets has been monitored by the MPP since 2014.

“Legalizing cannabis for adults has been a wise investment,” the report reads. “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. Through the first quarter of 2024, states have reported a combined total of more than $20 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales. In 2023 alone, legalization states generated more than $4 billion in cannabis tax revenue from adult-use sales, which is the most revenue generated by cannabis sales in a single year. 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.”

The report goes through tax revenue collected in each individual state, noting the state markets that are not yet operational. Washington’s tax rate was among the highest in the nation, at a whopping 37% at retail with a 6.5% sales tax.

“Twenty-four states have legalized cannabis possession for adults 21 and older. All but one of them—Virginia—have also legalized, regulated, and taxed cannabis sales. In two legalization states—Delaware and Ohio—sales have not begun yet.”

The economic benefits that come from legalizing adult-use cannabis should be one …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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