How Much Tax Revenue Did Legal Weed Generate in 2021?

A new report reveals some big numbers when it comes to cannabis tax revenue generated from legal weed states, which collected more than $3.7 Billion in 2021. This is a 34% increase when compared to 2020.


The updated report, compiled by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and published on Wednesday, also found that, as of March 2022, legal marijuana has earned over $11.2 Billion in tax revenue since 2014, when marijuana was first legalized in Colorado and Washington.

“Our report is further evidence that ending cannabis prohibition offers tremendous financial benefits for state governments,” said Tori Hutchinson, President and CEO of the MPP. “The legalization and regulation of cannabis for adults has generated billions of dollars in tax revenue, funded important services and programs at the state level, and created thousands of jobs across the country. Meanwhile, the states that lag behind continue to waste government resources on enforcing archaic cannabis laws that harm far too many Americans.”

RELATED: How Much Are States Making In Marijuana Tax Revenue?

The big draw

One of the main draws of legal cannabis is the fact that these tax revenues can be utilized for a variety of services that concern and benefit the state, like education, veterans’ services, job training, reinvesting in communities that have been impacted by the war on drugs, and more.

Every year, federal legal marijuana seems like a clearer possibility, even if the process is slow going. Last week, the House passed the Medical Marijuana Research Act, which expands the research that’s available on marijuana and could benefit legal marijuana in the long term.

“Cannabis has a wide range of therapeutic applications, but researchers have consistently faced significant roadblocks to conducting studies. Research is key to evaluating and unlocking the full potential of cannabis, and we applaud the House for passing legislation that would greatly expand the eligible supply of cannabis for studies,” said U.S. Cannabis Council CEO Steven Hawkins.

RELATED: More States Allocating Cannabis Tax Revenue For Social Equity

Looking at the numbers

Here are some crunched numbers:

2021 Tax Revenue Totals For Each State:
•    Alaska: $28,900,231
•    Arizona: $153,824,757
•    California: $1,294,632,799
•    Colorado: $396,157,005
•    Illinois: $424,206,703
•    Maine: $12,362,622
•    Massachusetts: $227,474,842
•    Michigan: $209,912,278
•    Nevada: $159,885,501
•    Oregon: $177,773,944
•    Washington: $630,863,570

Tax Revenue Totals For Each Year:
•    2014: $68,503,980
•    2015: $264,211,871
•    2016: $530,521,110
•    2017: $723,145,481
•    2018: $1,275,483,830
•    2019: $1,707,204,090
•    2020: $2,766,027,570
•    2021: $3,715,994,252

The MORE Act, which was also recently passed by the House, could help remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and eliminate conflicts between federal and state laws, allowing states to make their own rules regarding cannabis.

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