And to be honest, I personally think that’s a low ball estimate. The marijuana industry nationwide is multiple billions of dollars. How many billions? No one knows for sure. I think it’s easily tens of billions, but could be even hundreds of billions. We won’t know for sure until marijuana is legalized nationwide, which according to United States Representative Earl Blumenauer, could happen in the next five years.
A recent study was released by Nerd Wallet, which estimated the tax revenue from such a move to be around 3 billion dollars annually. There’s a lot of factors that go into such a calculation. For starters, what would marijuana be taxed at? It’s logical to conclude that different states would have different tax rates. For instance, Oregon is going to have considerably lower taxes if/when Measure 91 passes this November compared to Washington and Colorado. Other states could be lower than Oregon, while other states could potentially be higher than Washington. Only time will tell. NORML had the following to say about Nerd Wallet’s study:
Based on existing market projections, California would gain the largest amount of annual tax revenue ($519,287,052) were commercial cannabis production and sales to be legalized for adults. Other top tax revenue generating states include: New York ($248,103,676), Florida ($183,408,640), Texas ($166,303,963), and Illinois ($126,107,360).
Washington, which began allowing retail cannabis sales this summer, is estimated to reap some $119,000,000 in annual tax revenue, according to the study’s projections. Colorado, which has allowed retail cannabis sales since January 1, 2014, is estimated to gain some $78,000,000 in annual revenue.
Colorado and Washington are the only two states that are currently generating tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales. Those revenues keep climbing, with no end in sight. Below is an infographic from Nerd Wallet that gives a state-by-state breakdown:
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