One of the foundations of passing legal recreational marijuana was that it would provide a much needed source of tax revenue for the state. Marijuana sales would take money away from the black market and direct them towards schools, welfare programs, and health care.
Since legalizing recreational marijuana, Colorado has gained an additional $63 million in tax revenue, not to mention the nearly $13 million in shop licenses alone. Colorado has already generated “$63 million in tax revenue with an additional $13 million collected in licenses and taxes.” These numbers do not include marijuana paraphernalia and equipment which means the state is actually making more than expected.
In January alone, Colorado generated more than $2.35 million in tax revenue for public schools. This is a 21 percent increase from $1.97 million generated one month earlier in December. Remember, this is money converted directly from black market spending to public schools.
In Washington, the sales of recreational marijuana are doing better than initially expected. According to King 5 News: “The most recent revenue forecast released by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council shows that the industry is expected to bring in more than $694 million in state revenue through the middle of 2019. A previous forecast in September had that projection at about $636 million.”
Washington has promised to devote more than half of these taxes to education, research, health care, and substance abuse prevention. These hundreds of millions of dollars which were previously spent on the biddings of underground dealers and drug king-pins are now going to be funding the state’s citizens overall wellbeing and happiness.
Legal recreational marijuana has already generated and will continue to generate a large source of income for states in a time where they desperately need them. So grab a gram, pack your bowls, and toke up!
Photos: Dustin Moore