Legalized states, or states in the United States that have legalized the use of cannabis, whether for medical or recreational purposes, are earning millions of dollars from taxes and fees collected from various cannabis-related operations. If that is not enough to encourage the non-legalized states to consider reforming their cannabis legislation, we do not know what is.
For 2017, the country’s total estimated tax revenues from cannabis (from all legalized states) is $559 million. The expected peak for cannabis revenues is $1.4 billion.
In Nevada alone, where both medical and recreational cannabis have been legalized as of November 2016, the total cannabis taxes collected was about $3.7 million. For the next couple of years, tax revenue from cannabis is expected to reach $120 million.
Colorado, which legalized medical cannabis in 2000 and recreational cannabis in 2012 — making it among the first states in the U.S. to legalize recreational pot — revenues collected from cannabis taxes, licenses, and fees have steadiling climbed. From $68 million in 2014, it rose to $130 million in 2015, then $194 million in 2016, and $226 million in 2017.
Meanwhile, cannabis taxes collected in Oregon from February 2016 through November 2017 totaled $131.4 billion. The state distributed the bulk of these revenues to the state school fund ($42.6 million), followed by mental health, alcoholism, and drug services account ($21.3 million) and Oregon cities and counties ($21.3 million). The Oregon state police got $16 million and the Pregon Health Authority got $5.3 million.
Other numbers that are worth noting
- If cannabis is legalized through and through, beer companies stand to lose at least $2 billion in sales, especially after 27 per cent of beer drinkers in the country said they would switch to using cannabis from drinking beer.
- There are currently 28 states in the country that have legalized medical cannabis.
- The United States spent $53.3 billion on cannabis in 2016.
- 60 per cent of Americans want cannabis legalized for medical and recreational purposes.
- Only 21 per cent of Americans live in legalized states.
- As of April 2017, there are 55 million cannabis users in the country. About 35 million of these are regular users.