Colorado Makes History as Marijuana Tax Revenue Outpaces Alcohol


Marijuana prohibitionists used to claim that cannabis commerce would not bring in much tax revenue as they would prematurely state “I told you so” when tax revenue first started trickling in from the brand-new industry. Well, those same prohibitionists, who also claimed that the social costs of legalization would amount to billions of dollars, are very silent these days as Colorado’s cannabis sales have generated more revenue than alcohol sales. Sales have been so good, that the state has announced a one-day tax holiday today, September 16. From the Daily Caller:

No state has ever generated more tax revenue from marijuana than alcohol—until now.

The Colorado Department of Revenue, according to recently released figures, just brought in $70 million in taxes relating to marijuana, compared to less than $42 million for alcohol taxes, over the course of a year.


“Marijuana taxes have been incredibly productive over the past year, so this tax holiday is a much-deserved day off,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “This will be the one day out of the year when the state won’t generate significant revenue. Over the other 364 days, it will bring in tens of millions of dollars that will be reinvested in our state.”

Now that Colorado and Washington have brought in more than $200 million in marijuana tax revenue, the Reefer Madness contingent among us will definitely have to stop claiming that legalizing cannabis commerce won’t bring in new revenue. In addition to the new tax revenue, pioneering cannabis states also experience a reduction in wasteful spending and a better prioritization of law enforcement resources. By all accounts, legalizing, regulating and taxing cannabis is a much better policy than prohibition, so we can expect more states and sovereign tribes to follow suit in the coming years.