This week the Colorado Department of Revenue released tax figures for the state’s first month of legal recreational marijuana sales and they are already comparable to tax receipts from alcohol sales, delivering on the promises of marijuana activists that legal marijuana could mean big revenue for state governments.
Revenues Are Substantially Higher Than Early Media Estimates
According to state revenue officials, Colorado made $2 million in tax revenue from the state’s 59 recreational marijuana businesses this January.
That figure is much higher than the amount projected by NBC in early February based on proprietary data shared by marijuana retailers. Based on 27 days of tax data from 18 recreational marijuana retailers, NBC estimated a tax haul of $1.24 million.
Already Comparable to Tax Revenue from Sales of Alcohol
The state Department of Revenue reported $39.9 million in revenue from sales of alcohol in 2013, averaging to $3.3 million per month.
Factoring in state revenue from medical marijuana sales in Colorado this January, the entire marijuana industry total was $3.5 million, which means marijuana has already brought more revenue to the state in its first month than the monthly average for sales of alcohol.
Bolsters The Fiscal Case for Legalizing Marijuana in Other States
Consider California for example, which is estimated to raise as much as $105 million in revenue from medical marijuana annually (an average of $8.75 million per month).
If recreational marijuana outperforms medical marijuana at the same rate it did in Colorado, California could raise an additional $11.6 million in taxes from its first month of recreational marijuana sales.
Or estimated differently, if California legalizes recreational marijuana and the entire industry (medical and recreational) raises as much revenue as alcohol like Colorado’s industry did in its first month, the Golden State could raise as much as $27.8 million in its first month.
Don't Forget The State's Businesses, Jobs, and Economy
The burgeoning legal “pot” industry is stimulating Colorado’s economy with new jobs (that pay state income tax) and business expenses that help other tax-paying, job-producing industries (like Colorado’s real estate sector, which leases 3 million square feet to marijuana businesses).
All told, these early indicators signal that Colorado’s voters have made a lucrative decision for the economic health of their state.
Photo Credit: WDAY News 6
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As being someone who used marijuana for many years, I know how it can effect your brain and overall system. Its a depressant people!!! The temporary high eventually comes down and you become depressed. Your memory becomes depleted. Anxiety is prevalent. You become a paranoid scitzophrenic. NOT FUN!!!! Theres plenty of reasons why you shouldnt smoke marijuana, doctors will tell you this. Its mostly just been used on patients who were DYING!! But keep on convincing yourself that it's not a problem.
Billy Dillard. If you read my posts, I don't care which one it is. Driving under the influence of a mind altering substance is something I don't agree with period. I don't care which is worse. Be it alcohol or drugs. Just because it's not as bad doesn't make it right.
It would also be interesting to see how much the state has saved in not incarcerating what once were criminals of said substance.
You are right about that, HM Bredesen, Idaho is so back-woods, they'd cut off their nose to spite their face. In the mean time neighboring states are raking in revenue and Idaho is basking in the same William Randolph Hearst devil-weed fog the rest of the nation has been pulling itself out of.
There is more ignorance in here than at a DNC and RNC combined. Doctors, those that know won't tell, and those that will tell don't know. -da mayor
Theresa, if you mentally Ill, they are already giving you drugs, far more powerful, addictive, and deadly than pot.
Matter in fact, jack (hey, that rhymes), you might be on to a good concept. Since sugars are the first mind altering substance out there that most people try, maybe it we ban that, people won't be led to trying caffeine, and that would surely eliminate alcohol. See, we don't have to make anything illegal, but sugar, and the world will be perfect....
have a problem with the severely Mentally ill/ unstable getting access. My son did ( on meds) & he is now in prison for what was done to him- pre adoption. He was abused but not by us.
It was also a threat to the petroleum industry, seeing as how you can make every single industrial material out of hemp which is currently made out of oil, and all of those materials are non-toxic and biodegradable, big oil played a major role in making it and keeping it illegal.
high fructose corn syrup, Red Number 5, Refined Sugars, coffee, tea, cigarettes, and alcohol all came up long before marijuana.
Hi Virginia, can you provide sources for your claims? And I love how people want the nanny state to protect them from themselves. "Oh no, we can't allow people to do that, they might hurt themselves or their children! Think of the children!"(typical fear mongering scare tactic). Its nobodies business what anyone else does, as long as what that person's doing is in no way infringing on any one else's freedom. I don't care if someone wants to sit in their bedroom and shoot crystal meth into their eyeballs, as long as they don't bother me, I could not care even one single iota less. When you start making certain non violent actions criminal, you criminalize those who otherwise would be law abiding citizens, and you allow for the rise of a black market controlled by ruthless criminal organizations and all that brings. We have done more damage to our own people with the war on drugs than we have with nearly everything else we've done...and we've done a whooooole lot. Stop buying into the propaganda, and try to understand that its none of your business what anyone else does in their on home
Jerry Brown said California isn't doing it. Wise man. We won't smoke our way to prosperity. Exploiting addicts for money is a cruel codependency.
Jack...I actually did this. I interviewed a few hundred addicts and had one question, what was your first mind altering drug, and listed it. It isn't what you think.
Economists have been saying for years that the true economic activity that goes on in the United States is far greater than the official record because sales on things like narcotics (which has vertical and horizontal demand curve, i.e. price does not change demand), are not recorded, yet account for a significant portion of discretionary dollars. To legalize it and tax it is a trade off because users save risk, which is quantifiable with economic value, but pay a higher rate in product via state tax. The user makes out because the economic cost of a risk is higher than the tax, so everyone is winners
Ask an addict how they started. ONE BIG REASON. its mind altering and not a good thing. You want to alter your minds see a phych doc or have some liquor.
No wonder states want it legalized. All about the money for higher salaries, pensions and benefits for our elected officials who work for the people not against?
Virginia Meakins, please site the study that demonstrates the fact that you claim about DNA. You can't say something so radically different than contemporary knowledge and not cite a source for the claim.
After this short- term "rush," which reportedly have pushed prices higher, the "market" ought to stabilize. In the long run, we will find out if controlled legalization is a superior policy to criminalization.
How about the fact that they proved years ago that smoking marijuana changes the DNA in your reproductive cells. We don't like to think of the long term effects, but with the damage the mercury in vaccinations does to our kids and the damage other drugs, including marijuana does do the DNA, we are really doing damage to our childrens' futures.
I think is a small amount really. If the amount of people "people say" use this herb is so huge. If it were the amount would be double or triple don't you think. So, how much is collected from "big pharma and alcohol sales"?
I couldn't finish reading this. I feel like writing a paper on Psychological Warfare, Education and the Socialization Process. Title needs tweeking but something close to it!
I have been to the Netherlands. ...hate to see America follow suit....and the Netherlands are reigning in and trying to control there drug use while we are going where they have been.....this Country is in trouble my friends!!!!
@TellyMonster Okay, first of all Marijuana is a hallucinogen, which in turn makes it a stimulant. Marijuana does nothing whatsoever to ''deplete'' your memory, worst case scenario is that your short term memory will not be as sharp. Not once have i, or anybody that i know become a ''paranoid schizophrenic'' from smoking. Also why would they use marijuana on dying patients, just for the sake of using it? No, that doesn't make sense, does it? Maybe they used it to help with pain, think about it. Also taxing and regulating marijuana can help us as a country get out of debt. The money can be used to better our education, or to help the less fortunate. I see no valid points in your comment and what you're saying is also irrelevant.