PUEBLO, CO – September 3, 2016: A truck rushes past the LSF farm in Pueblo County, one of the only… [+] places in Colorado that allows for commercial cannabis grows outdoors, like the marijuana farm Los Sueños Farms LLC. LSF owns 36 acres of rich farmland in Pueblo County, Colorado, which it leases to four Colorado licensed retail marijuana cultivations: Farmboy LLC, Baseball 18 LLC, Los Sueños LLC and Emerald Fields Grow LLC. (Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post)
On Jan. 1, 2018, the US’s largest and most populated state — California — oversaw the legalization of recreational marijuana. Though not the first state to do this, California’s action is a milestone for the cannabis industry, and for American drug legislation in general. Almost as, if not equally, important is the fact that marijuana’s recreational legality comes with major taxes: a 15% statewide tax on all recreational and medical cannabis products, and additional local taxes and fees.
Much of the country’s outmoded views on cannabis persist, but in the arena of legislation, these arguments are falling on deaf ears. Legalization of cannabis has opened a door to a massive, new source of revenue for state governments. Click through to read about one of the fastest-growing industries to invest in for 2018, and how much states are making off it.
Estimated sales in the past year in the US from cannabis, either medical or recreational. Note:… [+] Colorado, Oregon and Washington totals are recreational only.
States With Legal Medical Marijuana and Sales
It’s been over 20 years since California became the first state to make marijuana legal — medical use of it, that is. Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was voted on by residents during the November elections that year, passing by 5,382,915 “yes” votes to 4,301,960 “no” votes. Now in 2018, at least a dozen states offer legal medical use of marijuana. Take a look at the sales numbers states have tallied thanks to medical cannabis:
|Arizona||$406.7 million||Minnesota||$9.6 million|
|Connecticut||$50 million||Montana||$31.8 million|
|Delaware||$7.1 million||New Hampshire||$7.2 million|
|Florida||$17.4 million||New Jersey||$37 million|
|Hawaii||$17.2 million||New Mexico||$54.2 million|
|Illinois||$91.1 million||New York||$40.9 million|
|Michigan||$633 million||Rhode Island||$60.2 million|
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Sales revenue varies widely depending on the state, but even without recreational use being legal, medical marijuana can put up huge numbers. Michigan legalized marijuana for medical use in 2008, and Arizona did the same in 2010. Since then, these two states have recorded over $600 million and $400 million in cannabis sales, respectively.
States With Legal Recreational Marijuana and Sales
The newest of new frontiers is legal recreational use of marijuana. California might have been first to legalize for medical purposes, but it was Colorado and Washington that trail-blazed recreational legislation in 2012. Since then, seven additional states, plus Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana. Here’s a breakdown of their sales totals:
|Alaska||$39.5 million||Massachusetts||$106 million|
|California||$2.75 billion||Nevada||$102.7 million|
|Colorado||$1.56 billion||Oregon||$777.6 million|
|District of Columbia||$17.7 million||Washington||$1 billion|
Not surprisingly, California is a juggernaut with over $2.75 billion in cannabis sales. Yet its northern neighbors Oregon and Washington are no slouches either. Oregon tallied more than $500 million in recreational sales and another $275 million in medical. Washington pulled in over $975 million through recreational, plus $61 million from medical sales.
Washington has marijuana sales in excess of $1 billion despite its population being a fraction of California’s — 7.4 million in Washington vs. 39.5 million— while its GDP is less than a fifth of the Golden State’s: $517 billion vs. $2.8 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Indeed, such outsize profits is one of the main draws of legalized, taxed marijuana. Meanwhile, in 17 other states, marijuana remains a controlled substance, and three states — Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska — don’t even have standing laws addressing marijuana-related use.
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