One of the many benefits of legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use is all the new tax revenue that states are taking in. Oregon is now reaping the financial benefits of legalizing the sale of the marijuana. Reports show that just after one month, Oregon has taken in $3.48 million dollars in new tax revenue.
This is incredible news for the state of Oregon. The state initially expected to bring in a total of $2 million dollars of new tax revenue from marijuana sales – for the entire year. Not every county and city in Oregon has chosen to allow the sale of marijuana. That means 19 counties in Oregon will receive a share of the tax revenue.
Oregon Live reports on some of the details of the state’s marijuana tax policy:
“Oregon’s medical marijuana stores have been allowed to sell a limited amount of cannabis flowers, as well as starter marijuana plants and seeds, to anyone 21 and older since last October. The state’s temporary 25 percent tax didn’t kick in until Jan. 1.
That tax will eventually be replaced with one ranging from 17 percent to 20 percent once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission assumes control over recreational marijuana sales later this year. The Legislature set the base tax rate at 17 percent, but cities and counties may adopt ordinances that add up to 3 percent more.
Next year, the first full year of sales under the liquor commission, state economists expect recreational cannabis sales to generate $10.75 million in tax revenue after the state covers startup costs. That number is expected to climb to $62.42 million for the 2017-2019 biennium.”
Other states that have legalized recreational marijuana have received similar tax windfalls. Colorado, the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana, took in $135 million dollars in taxes and fees in 2015. Colorado is pumping most of their new tax dollars into schools and other education initiatives.
The state of Washington raised $67.5 million dollars in tax revenue from recreational marijuana in 2015. They are expected to raise more than $1 billion dollars over four years. This money goes into Washington’s general fund and to help fund health services.
Of course, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. So far, the federal government has decided to respect state’s marijuana laws. The federal government’s attitude towards recreational marijuana can change, for better or worse, depending on the whim of the administration in charge.
Featured image from Katheirne Hitt via Flickr