It’s a nice little jackpot for American public finances. Since 2014, sales of recreational cannabis have brought in $ 10.4 billion in taxes, for the coffers of the 18 states that have legalized. It is the result of a calculation of Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). This pro-legalization lobby has added up all the tax data for each state, supporting sources so that everyone can verify.
MPP calculations only include recreational cannabis, not medical therefore. And they start in 2014, since it was on that date that Colorado became the first US state to legalize cannabis for adults. However, it is not this state that has won the most taxes; this is California.
The State of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have collected $ 3.1 billion in taxes… in just 4 years! Alongside him, Washington State (not to be confused with the capital, Washington DC) and Colorado complete the podium. The first brought 3 billion into its coffers in eight years of legalization. The second, 1.7 billion.
Between 9 and 37% tax depending on the state
Calculations of Marijuana Policy Project also show the large difference in taxation depending on the state. In France, we have the same tax everywhere, the VAT. In the United States, as it is a federal model, the states decide. Some tax cannabis little, especially to compete on the black market. Others prefer to tap more heavily, especially to redistribute to schools or social justice programs.
The champion is surely Washington State. Located in the far northwest of the country, theEvergreen State recovers 37% of cannabis sales to fuel its budget. There, cannabis already brings in more to the state than alcohol. And this made it possible to unlock $ 600 million, in particular to help low-income families who cannot afford a mutual insurance fund.
Another champion: California. For an ounce (28 grams) of cannabis, the state levies $ 9.25 in taxes. To this is added 15% excise, a special tax, and 7.25% VAT.
New York, too, is rubbing its hands. Although sales have not yet started, MPs and Senators have agreed to a tax backed by the THC level of the products. This could therefore vary between 12 and 35%. To this will be added a VAT of 13%.
Conversely, others have chosen a more liberal model. Alaska, for example, charges $ 50 in taxes for an ounce, which typically sells for around $ 300. Michigan takes around 16% in taxes. The same goes for Oregon, with 17%.