Arizona sold over $1 billion of legal weed during its first year of adult-use sales, the state’s revenue department reported on its website. 

The data combines revenue figures from both adult-use, or recreational, sales and medical cannabis sales. Broken down, adult-use sales reached over $500 million, while medical sales exceeded $700 million. 

The state generated a total of $190 million in tax revenue, although the Arizona Dispensaries Association estimated the total tax collected will be closer to $215 million once December’s data is completely calculated.

“Rarely does an industry produce over $1.2 billion in revenue in its first year,” Samuel Richard, the executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, said to a local CBS news affiliate. “This number shows that the legalization of cannabis is something Arizonans believe strongly in and the many benefits it contributes to the state’s economy.” 

For comparison, Colorado only sold $700 million of medical and adult-use weed combined in 2014, its first year of legalization. 

On the other hand California — with a population five times larger than Arizona’s — sold $1.4 billion of weed in 2018, its first year of legal adult-use sales. 

Of course, comparing Colorado, California, and Arizona’s weed industries based on sales alone isn’t entirely fair. California, for instance, is competing with its own thriving black market. And Colorado received a ton of international media hype back in 2014, something Arizona didn’t receive when it launched legal sales early last year. 

Regardless, it’s pretty clear by now that legalizing weed is great for any state’s economy, court system, and state budgets. Legal weed has created thousands upon thousands of new, quality, full-time jobs in the US, both within the regulated industry and indirectly among ancillary industries, too. 

Now, if President Biden truly cares about the US economy, its healthcare system, and its struggle for social justice, then he needs to get the fuckin’ ball rolling on federal legalization already. And he needs to quit stalling simply because he’s too ashamed to admit that he royally screwed up in the ‘90s by over-policing and over-sentencing petty cannabis offenders.