March 5th 2014
Colorado's finest financial brains estimate that the state will be receiving $10 million per month over the next 18 months thanks to the legalization and taxation of cannabis. Colorado taxes cannabis at the point of production, at the point of wholesale and at the point of final customer sales. Some political obervers believe that the eventual tax revenues will be much higher as the legal cannabis industry starts to fully establish itself in Colorado.
Colorado has a population of around 6 million people, so the tax revenues of around $10 million per month equates to a revenue of between $1-$2 per citizen per month. These figures are proving very interesting for other states that are following Colorado's pot plans closely. California has a population closer to 40 million people, which would suggest that the annual tax revenues for recreationally legal pot will be closer to $1 billion.
Remember - these tax receipts could be much higher than that. Part of the problem is that no-one really knows exactly what the USA Government cannabis taxes will be, and the reason for that is that the cannabis tax revenues have been willingly gifted to organised crime for the last few decades as part of the failed prohibition of cannabis. It is a similar situation to the 1930's when alcohol prohibition in the USA instantly diverted the cash from the Government to organised crime.
What is particularly interesting in the debate is that Europe traditionally is far better at taxing its citizens than the USA. So if, and when, European politicians start looking at legalizing and taxing cannabis it will be clear that they will get even higher tax revenues than the USA has achieved.
The following link from CNN may be interesting https://money.cnn.com/2014/02/20/news/economy/marijuana-taxes-colorado/