Report: Total U.S. Adult-Use Cannabis Taxes Have Surpassed $20 Billion

In the approximately 10 years since Colorado and Washington launched the country’s first adult-use cannabis markets, U.S. states with cannabis legalization policies have generated more than $20 billion in tax revenue on adult-use cannabis products.

Full story after the jump.

According to a recent Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) report, U.S. states with cannabis legalization policies have generated more than $20 billion in cannabis tax revenue since Colorado and Washington launched the country’s first legal, adult-use cannabis markets in 2014.

The report — which covers up to the first quarter of 2024 — found that 2023 was the highest-earning year yet with nearly $4.2 billion in cannabis tax revenue from adult-use sales. Among individual states, California earned the most last year at just over $1.08 billion, followed by Illinois ($552,166,729), Washington ($532,516,060), and Michigan ($473,303,560).

The report accounts for the excise and sales taxes for individual states and does not account for medical cannabis sales (or taxes).

“State-legal cannabis sales continue to provide significant economic benefits. 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.” — Karen O’Keefe, MPP’s director of state policies, in a press release

So far, 24 states have bucked the federal prohibition of cannabis by adopting statewide cannabis reforms — however, not every state enjoys legal sales. Virginia lawmakers legalized cannabis for adults but stopped short of issuing commercial licenses, whereas Delaware and Ohio have yet to implement their regulated markets.

Meanwhile, a recent cannabis industry jobs report found that the legal market currently supports 440,445 “full-time equivalent” positions.

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