Updates will come on a quarterly basis moving forward
The U.S. Census Bureau has released its first report on state-level marijuana tax revenue data following what the agency calls “a complete canvass of all state agencies” going back to July 2021. In the 18-month period between then and the end of 2022, the data show, states collected more than $5.7 billion from licensed cannabis sales.
The launch of the report, which the agency plans to update on a quarterly basis going forward, signals that at least some parts of the federal government are now beginning to treat the cannabis industry as a legitimate sector of the economy. The Census Bureau first announced in January 2021 that it would begin collecting marijuana tax figures for its quarterly summary of state and local government tax revenue. It also said it wants states to submit cannabis revenue data as part of annual reports as well.
The first edition of the quarterly data was published late last month, just weeks after the bureau announced it would separately update its survey of American businesses to better marijuana-related economic activity.
Together, the new tracking and reporting efforts—which come nearly a decade after the first state-legal sales of adult-use cannabis in the United States—indicate an increasing willingness by the federal government to acknowledge the billions of dollars flowing into state coffers annually as the result of state-level marijuana legalization, even as the substance remains federally illegal.
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