A recent report shows that last year states which had legalized cannabis for adult-use cumulatively raked in more than $3.7 billion in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales. This report follows up on an analysis the Marijuana Policy Project released at the start of this year, which examined the total adult-use marijuana tax revenue collected by all the states that have legalized cannabis since recreational sales began in Washington State and Colorado. The organization stated that the total tax revenue generated since recreational sales began in 2014 until March of this year was about $11.2 billion.
Toi Hutchinson, CEO and president of the Marijuana Policy Project, stated that this report offered further evidence that ending marijuana prohibition provided substantial benefits for state governments. In a press release, Hutchinson explained that the regulation and legalization of marijuana for adults had generated billions in revenue, created thousands of employment opportunities in the country and helped fund important programs and services at the state level.
The total the organization arrived at doesn’t include corporate taxes paid to the federal government, income taxes generated by workers in the marijuana industry, licensing and application fees paid by cannabis businesses or tax revenue generated by medical marijuana. This means that the overall impact of legalization on government coffers is even higher than the billions of dollars generated by recreational sales.
The report also highlighted the ways in which states were distributing marijuana revenue for different initiatives and programs, including reinvesting the revenue into communities that were most impacted by the drug’s criminalization. For instance, officials in the state of Michigan announced in March that they would be allocating about $150 million in cannabis tax revenue to a transportation fund, public schools and various localities.
The state of Illinois also pledged to allocate a portion of its tax revenues to mental health services and organizations that develop programs benefiting disadvantaged communities. Last year, officials in the state allocated $3.5 million to efforts to decrease violence through street intervention programs.
In Colorado, almost $500 million in marijuana-generated funds has been directed toward the public school system thus far. States are also collecting more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol, with Illinois’ latest figures showing that the state collected nearly $100 million more from adult-use cannabis than alcohol.
The state of Massachusetts also took in more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol last year, with December figures showing that it collected more than $74 million from cannabis taxes and about $52 million from alcohol taxes.
These trends in the tax revenue generated from recreational marijuana sales suggest that adults are to a large extent happy with the products on offer by companies such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) in states that have enacted enabling marijuana laws, hence the increasing expenditure on those products.
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