All that staying home was apparently good for the weed industry. In 2020, US cannabis sales hit a record $17.5B, per Forbes.
But a new report from the Marijuana Policy Project found that states are also profiting.
The 18 states that have legalized recreational cannabis have raked in $10.4B in tax revenue since 2014. A few examples:
- Colorado, which kicked off legal adult-use sales in 2014, has collected $1.79B.
- Alaska (2016) has generated $95m.
- California (2018) — the largest state by population — has collected $3.1B.
The report does not include local tax revenues…
… but cities pull in money, too.
Denver has generated $237.5m.
California’s West Hollywood sees itself as a future Amsterdam. It currently has 6 dispensaries in 1.8 square miles, generating $2.2m a year.
Where does the money go?
Every state is different, but many support schools, infrastructure, or nonprofits.
California has given ~$100m to organizations that work with communities harmed by the war on drugs, per AP News.
Michigan generated $45.7m in 2020 from excise taxes and fees, which it splits between its School Aid Fund, the Michigan Transportation Fund, municipalities and counties, and admin costs.
Fun fact: A 2021 study from the Pew Research Center found that only 8% of US adults think cannabis should be illegal, while 31% are cool with medical use and 60% are fine with recreational use, too.
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