California was the first state in the union to allow for medical marijuana use in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 215. However, the state itself has been fairly slow in notable initiatives to regulate and leverage marijuana use as a commercial industry.
With several states preparing to vote on marijuana legalization this fall, and with Washington and Colorado already earning millions in extra tax revenue, consumer finance site NerdWallet was curious to see how much money each state could earn from legalizing marijuana. Here’s what they found:
- The U.S as a whole stands to earn $3,098,866,907 in extra revenue from state and local taxes of legal marijuana
- California could net an extra $519 million in revenue each year by legalizing and taxing the drug
The U.S. stands to gain, according to our calculations, $3,098,866,907 in state and local taxes per year — that’s more than twice the entire budget of the Small Business Administration in 2013.
California could gain the most from taxes on sales of marijuana. The state stands to take in $519,287,052, which almost covers the 2013 budget for the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
How much has Colorado made since legalizing marijuana? In the first six months of this year, the state collected $25,307,067 in taxes on the sales of marijuana. By June 2015, Colorado expects to collect up to $70 million—not very far off from our estimate of $78,157,904.
Click here to read the entire NerdWallet study.