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States Have Generated Over $20 Billion In Marijuana Tax Revenue Since First Markets Opened, New Report Finds



States have now generated more than $20 billion in adult-use marijuana tax revenue since the first markets opened a decade ago, according to a new report from a top cannabis reform advocacy group.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) also said that in 2023 alone, states collected over $4 billion in recreational cannabis tax revenue—the most ever generated in a single year.

That’s despite the fact that revenue in several major states such as Colorado and Nevada declined last year. But new and evolving state markets more than made up the difference, and that trend is expected to continue as additional legalization laws are implemented soon in places such as Delaware and Ohio.

“State-legal cannabis sales continue to provide significant economic benefits,” Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at MPP, said in a press release. “With over $20 billion generated in adult-use cannabis tax revenue since the first sales began, the legal cannabis industry is providing much-needed funding for crucial services and programs in states across the country.”

“Additionally, the implementation of adult-use cannabis markets has spurred significant job growth, creating hundreds of thousands of new employment opportunities, along with thousands of new small businesses,” she said.

The report focuses on adult-use marijuana taxes and does not account for revenue generated from the sale of medical cannabis, which is now legal in 38 states.

In 2022, marijuana tax revenue was lower than the prior year for the first time, which experts attributed to a “multitude of factors,” including COVID-related policies and trends.

Here are the 2023 state-by-state totals:

•    Alaska: $28,097,114
•    Arizona: $257,929,322
•    California: $1,082,452,368
•    Colorado: $256,756,467
•    Connecticut: $24,613,367
•    Illinois: $552,166,729
•    Maine: $35,593,347
•    Maryland: approximately $29,880,000
•    Massachusetts: $263,488,752
•    Michigan: $473,303,560
•    Missouri: $105,941,225
•    Montana: $51,636,106
•    Nevada: $178,135,259
•    New Jersey: $45,083,223
•    New Mexico: $67,440,312
•    New York: approximately $21,000,000
•    Rhode Island: $12,621,982
•    Oregon: $148,133,667
•    Washington: $532,516,060
•    Vermont: $21,642,857
•    Overall Total: approximately $4,188,431,717

Meanwhile, last fall the U.S. Census Bureau launched a map detailing the proportion of state revenue made up by marijuana tax money.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Some states have recently seen milestones in marijuana sales numbers, including Massachusetts, which recently recorded more than $7 billion in combined medical and recreational sales since adult-use stores opened there in late 2018.

New Mexico officials also celebrated a new milestone for the state’s marijuana industry, with retailers recording more than $1 billion in total sales since the launch of the state’s adult-use cannabis market in 2022.

And in Missouri, the state announced earlier this year that licensed retailers sold more than $1.4 billion worth of legal cannabis during the first full year of legal sales.

Meanwhile more than half a dozen states broke monthly sales records last December, with many relatively new adult-use cannabis markets continuing to expand and American shoppers in general stepping up holiday spending.

The multinational investment firm TD Cowen said in February it projects legal cannabis sales will reach $37 billion in 2027, up from what it said was about $29 billion in 2023. At least some of that growth is expected to come from increased substitution of cannabis for alcohol, particularly among younger adults.

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