As American continues to embrace cannabis reform, it’s abundantly clear that legalization makes the grass greener for everyone in this country — including Uncle Sam and the IRS. 

According to new data released by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, things are on the up and up when it comes to taxes collected from legal weed. In 2018, state and local excise taxes garnered from marijuana retail sales exceeded $1 billion — a milestone for the nascent industry. 

Compared to 2017, this represents a 57 percent increase, in no small part due to California opening up its adult-use cannabis market. The report also suggests that there was “rapid growth in cannabis tax revenues” in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State. Plus, state-specific sales taxes added another $300 million in revenue during our last trip around the sun. 

Interestingly, the data highlights that annual excise taxes from recreational weed are increasingly matching the excise taxes collected from “all forms of alcohol” — $1.04 billion from cannabis, versus $1.16 billion from alcohol. 

The report also noted that if the country were to legalize adult-use cannabis nationwide, the U.S. could “generate approximately $11.9 billion in state and local excise and sales tax revenue each year.” We have a feeling that’s a conservative estimate, but damn is that a lot of guap.

(h/t NORML)