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Record High: US States Amass $4.2 Billion in Adult-Use Cannabis Tax Revenue in 2023

US cannabis sales have generated more than $20bn in tax revenues for their respective states since adult-use legalization began, according to a new study.

According to new figures published by the cannabis advocacy nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project (MMP), 2023 saw the highest tax revenues on record, topping a combined total of $4.2bn for the first time.

This was up from the $3.8bn in tax revenue recorded in 2022, following a slight dip from the previous pandemic-driven highs of $3.9bn in 2021.

Since Colorado became the first state to roll-out legal adult-use sales in 2014, 23 further US states have voted to follow suit.

All but Virginia have legalized, taxed and regulated cannabis sales, while Delaware and Ohio are yet to begin sales.

“In many states with legal, adult-use cannabis sales, tax revenues are allocated for social services and programs.

“This includes funding education, school construction, early literacy, public libraries, bullying prevention, behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment, veterans’ services, conservation, job training, conviction expungement expenses, and reinvestment in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on cannabis, among many others,” the report stated.

More mature markets like Colorado and Washington have raised total tax revenues of $2.4bn and $4.1bn respectively since moving to legalize, but the report suggests newer markets like Illinois and Michigan are now bringing in significant sums, including $550m and $470m in 2023 respectively.

MMP suggests that legalization ‘offers tremendous financial benefits for state governments and social service’ programmes.

Furthermore, it reported that many states with taxed and regulated markets have quickly exceeded initial estimates.


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