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Report: Legal Cannabis Revenue Eclipses $15 Billion in U.S.

But last year was the first to see a decrease in total tax revenues.

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The Marijuana Policy Project today released a new report on tax revenue generated from legal adult-use cannabis in the U.S.

Through 2022, states have reported more than $15.1 billion in tax revenue from cannabis sales since 2014 when Colorado and Washington legalized.

In 2022, states generated more than $3.77 billion in cannabis tax revenue from adult-use sales.

According to Toi Hutchinson, president and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the revenue is being used to fund crucial social services, like education, alcohol and drug treatment, veteran services, job training and reinvestment in communities disproportionately affected by the war on cannabis. She says the states that lag behind are doing a disservice to their constituents and leaving money on the table.

While cannabis sales have continued to generate billions in annual tax revenue, 2022 marked the first year with a decrease in tax revenues compared to the prior year.

Even as new states came online last year, total state cannabis tax revenue dropped to $3.77 billion in 2022 from $3.86 billion in 2021.

Prior to 2022, every legal state saw annual increases in cannabis tax revenue. However, six states with the most mature markets backslid in 2022. While 2022 figures were down from 2021 in more mature markets, they were still higher than any year pre-COVID for each state.

Twenty-two states have passed laws to legalize cannabis possession for adults 21 and older. All but two of them — Maryland and Virginia — have also legalized, regulated and taxed cannabis sales. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is expected to sign a bill to legalize and regulate sales.

Several other states are building strong momentum to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2023, including Minnesota, New Hampshire and Ohio.

2022 State-by-State Totals:

  • Alaska: $28,649,408
  • Arizona: $223,863,799
  • California: $1,074,560,287
  • Colorado: $305,034,034
  • Illinois: $562,119,019
  • Maine: $25,329,534
  • Massachusetts: $250,710,415
  • Michigan: $326,049,074
  • Montana: $41,989,466
  • Nevada: $196,952,338
  • New Jersey: $20,139,655
  • New Mexico: $36,684,235
  • Rhode Island: $579,439
  • Oregon: $150,316,424
  • Washington: $529,443,420
  • Vermont: $2,363,000

Year-by-Year Totals:

  • 2014: $68,503,980
  • 2015: $264,211,871
  • 2016: $530,521,110
  • 2017: $736,534,982
  • 2018: $1,308,693,928
  • 2019: $1,749,459,667
  • 2020: $2,814,837,199
  • 2021: $3,866,974,690
  • 2022: $3,774,783,548

Cumulative Total: $15,114,520,975

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