States with Legal Cannabis Collected More Than $3.7 Billion From Marijuana Sales Last Year
A recent report from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) showed that states that had recreational cannabis programs collected over $3.7 billion in tax revenue from marijuana sales in 2021. Compared to cannabis tax revenue that states collected in 2020, that is a 34 percent increase. The report is a result of data collected by MPP that examined all cannabis tax revenue collected from all states that legalized recreational cannabis since sales began in Washington and Colorado in 2014. According to MPP’s analysis, between 2014 and 2022 (as of March 2022) the total tax revenue collected is $11.2 billion. MPP President and CEO Toi Hutchinson said the report gives “further evidence that ending cannabis prohibition offers tremendous financial benefits for state governments.”
D.C. Lawmakers Reject Measure to Make it Easier to Access Legal Cannabis
Currently, Washington D.C. exists in somewhat of a marijuana gray market. The District is in a very unique regulatory and legal position since voters legalized personal cannabis possession, cultivation, and gifting in 2014. But despite strong support for creating a legal and regulated adult-use market, a Republican-sponsored congressional spending bill rider prohibits the District from utilizing its local tax dollars to create and implement a legal cannabis industry. To circumvent this issue, District Council Chairman Phil Mendelson sponsored a bill that would circumvent the congressional ban by permitting adults 21 and older to “self-certify” as medical marijuana patients without the need for a doctor’s recommendation. The legislation faced some criticism as it also contained provisions that would crackdown on unlicensed businesses that are using the gifting policy to sell unrelated products and services and give cannabis as a “gift” with purchase. However, the measure did not receive the supermajority vote it needed to be considered.
The Next Farm Bill Could Address Regulating Cannabis
The Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, Democratic Representative David Scott, has an idea for finally federally legalizing cannabis. His idea is one that not many have considered and has many advocates feeling hopeful. Scott’s suggestion is to add high-THC cannabis to low-THC hemp in the next Farm Bill. While the idea seems far-fetched and unlikely to some, many have pointed out that the 2018 Farm Bill caused Congress to alter the Controlled Substances Act to say that low-THC hemp is no longer illegal. Representative Scott isn’t just throwing a suggestion out there, as his position as House Agriculture Comittee Chair puts him in charge of what goes into Farm Bill updates.