Thursday, January 6, 2022
MPP provides new accounting of "Cannabis Tax Revenue in States that Regulate Cannabis for Adult Use"
The Marijuana Policy Project has this notable new online report under the heading "Cannabis Tax Revenue in States that Regulate Cannabis for Adult Use." The report provides a state-by-state accounting of public tax revenue data, and it sets up the discussion this way:
Legalizing cannabis for adults has been a wise investment. 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.
Eighteen states have laws that legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older (the 2020 voter-approved adult-use legalization law in South Dakota was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court in November 2021). Eight of the laws were approved in 2020 or 2021, and in seven of those states, sales and tax collections have not yet begun. This document reviews each state’s adult-use cannabis tax structure, population, and revenue from legalization. These figures do not include medical cannabis tax revenue, application and licensing fees paid by cannabis businesses, additional income taxes generated by workers in the cannabis industry, or corporate taxes paid to the federal government.
The last line of this introduction highlights why this review in necessarily an under-reporting of state revenues generated by legalization regimes.