Legal recreational marijuana has been sold for only a week in limited parts of Colorado yet it has already generated millions in sales. The Huffington Post surveyed several stores throughput the state and determined that over $5 million worth of legal marijuana was sold in the first week.
These legal marijuana sales were subject to a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana and a 10 percent sales tax on retail purchases. While official figures from the state won’t be released for until much later, it is safe to assume the Colorado government has likely already generated over a $1 million in new revenue directly from just the new marijuana taxes. The state is also going to financially benefit from the regular business, income, and sales taxes these retail shops and their employees are paying.
In Colorado we are now starting to see the benefits of legalization for people who never smoke it and never plan to. Marijuana has gone from purely a wasteful financial drain on states during prohibition to a source of much needed revenue for Colorado. Money that was previously going into a black market is now going to schools.
Other states are going to be looking at Colorado and prohibitionist politicians are going to need to explain why they think it acceptable to impoverish their state governments for a policy a majority of the country opposes.