States That Legalized Recreational Marijuana Brought in $2.7B in New Revenue Last Year

Ten states that have legalized recreational marijuana raked in nearly $2.7 billion in tax revenue in 2020, The Hill reports.

Tax revenues have grown every year since states began legalizing the recreational use of weed. California alone collected $1 billion in recreational marijuana taxes last year, a 62% increase from 2019.

Sales in other states rose too amid the coronavirus pandemic. Washington collected $614 million in tax revenue, not including local taxes. That number exceeds the state’s revenue from alcohol taxes in each of the past two years.

Colorado raked in $362 million, up from $279 million the previous year. Oregon collected $158 million. Nevada collected $123 million. Massachusetts collected $118 million. Michigan collected $81 million.

2021 revenues up too:

This year is expected to continue the boon for the industry and state coffers. Illinois officials reported $119 million in recreational marijuana revenue between January and April.

Massachusetts officials said they have already surpassed half of last year’s total in just the first few months of the year.

Vermont, Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, New York, New Mexico, and Virginia have all also either rolled out recreational marijuana sales this year or passed bills or voter initiatives to do so.

Marijuana boom:

The Marijuana Policy Project estimates that states have already collected $7.9 billion in tax revenue since Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational weed in 2014.

Marijuana taxes tend to be far higher than other taxes. In Washington, for example, marijuana products are taxed at 37%.

California imposes a tax between $2.75 and $9.25 per ounce and a 15% excise tax on marijuana products, along with the standard 7.25% sales tax.


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