These Two States Received More Tax Money From Weed Than From Alcohol Or Cigarettes

By Maria Loreto, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

The data also lends credence to the belief that legal cannabis could curb the consumption of substances like alcohol and tobacco. With every new year, legal marijuana states prove that the plant is a good source of income. In the Fiscal Year 2022, the states of Washington and Colorado had more revenue from cannabis sales than from alcohol or cigarettes.

These numbers were published Wednesday by the Tax Policy Center (you can find the full report online).

“19 states now have enacted taxes on recreational marijuana purchases, but the tax regimes vary quite a bit,” the company tweeted. “Over time, states can collect a significant amount of revenue, and Colorado and Washington collected more from taxes on cannabis than alcohol or cigarettes in 2022.” Here’s highlights of what they found. First, states and localities tax marijuana by weight, sales price, potency, or some combination.

— Tax Policy Center (@TaxPolicyCenter) September 28, 2022

The report explains why cannabis taxes work differently than alcohol or cigarette taxes, which are standardized throughout the country. “While 19 states have enacted a tax on recreational marijuana, there is no standard cannabis tax in the US the way there is an alcohol tax, cigarette tax, and gas tax. Instead governments use three different types of cannabis taxes: a percentage-of-price-tax, a weight-based tax, and a potency-based tax. Different states use different taxes and some states levy multiple taxes.”

Colorado collected $353.7 million in marijuana tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2022, while Washington collected $517 million (by contrast, the state took in about $490 million from alcohol and $380 from cigarettes).


These numbers highlight a variety of things that are important for cannabis proponents; not only do these states make a significant amount of revenue, but the data also lends credence to the belief that legal cannabis could curb the consumption of substances like alcohol, cigarettes and even opioids.

Just this week, a study conducted in Florida found that medical marijuana users are less likely to use opioids. Participants explained that cannabis treated the  symptoms of their disease (anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, and more) while also helping them curb or eliminate their use of prescription pills.

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