Marijuana Brought in Millions in Tax Revenue Last Year

This chart shows estimated 2018 tax revenue in states where recreational marijuana use is legal.

Despite the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track job creation in the U.S. marijuana industry, a recent report claimed that the sector has created around 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the states where the drug has been given the green light for recreational use. While job creation has been one of the more noticeable economic benefits of marijuana legalization in the United States, tax revenue is quite another. 

Out of the ten states (and D.C.) where marijuana is legal, seven currently tax and regulate their revenue-producing stores. Those taxes are typically 10 to 37 percent higher than the local sales tax which has allowed some states to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars. Last year, Washington had the highest tax revenue according to Leafly with an estimated $319 million, followed by California's $300 million and Colorado's $266 million. 

When it comes to what that money is used for, the research says it goes towards school construction, drug abuse programs and medical research, among other areas. A notable example of pot money being put to good use is a center for homelessness in Aurora, Colorado. $900,000 worth of marijuana tax revenue was invested in the Aurora Day Resource Center which was developed in an old police gym and supports the local homeless population with a range of basic but essential services.

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