Special Report

How Much Every State Can Make From Legalized Marijuana

A_Melnyk / iStock via Getty Images

Marijuana is big business. Millions of users spend billions of dollars on it every year. As it becomes legalized in more and more states — some 15 currently permit its personal purchase, possession, and use, with at least two more scheduled to join them this summer — those states will want a share of the revenue. (As of now, these are the 15 states where marijuana is legal.)

How much do they stand to realize? 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states based on how much excise tax revenue they can potentially generate from legalized marijuana sales. 

The numbers of people smoking and thus the profits state governments might see vary considerably from place to place. The Tax Foundation estimates that more than 22% of adults in Vermont, for instance, used marijuana in a recent 30-day period, but there are fewer than 500,000 people in the state. In contrast, the figure for Texas is only 7%, but the state has a population of more than 20 million adults, which means a lot more money going up in smoke.

Potential revenues, likewise, span a wide range. Wyoming, which has a tiny population and a relatively low level of marijuana use, might see $11 million annually, while California, the most populous state and one whose consumption is above average, could bring in $1.2 billion. 

Click here to see how much money every state can make with marijuana.

Whether it’s legal or not, people will still use marijuana. And whether liberal or conservative, states don’t like to miss out on potential tax revenues. (These are America’s richest and poorest states.)

Those millions of dollars from pot sales could fill a lot of potholes. 

To determine how much excise tax revenue each state can generate from legalized marijuana sales, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2020 data from the nonprofit Tax Foundation. Potential total tax revenue was based on the average taxes paid per marijuana user in states that have had a legalized market for a minimum of three years, such as Colorado and Washington. Potential revenue per adult was calculated using that figure and 2019 population estimates for adults over 21 years old from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. 

The percentage of adults that have used marijuana in the 30 days surveyed also came from the Tax Foundation and was based on data for 2017 and 2018 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published in the 2019 annual report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The legality of recreational and medical marijuana in each state was determined by reviewing the legalization page on the website for The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, accessed on April 13th, 2021.

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

50. Texas
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $20.40
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $415 million — (4th highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 7.0% — (the lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 20,340,329

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Source: Adventure_Photo / Getty Images

49. Utah
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $20.68
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $44 million — (13th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 7.6% — (2nd lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,127,694

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

48. Kansas
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $21.61
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $45 million — (14th lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 8.0% — (3rd lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,082,728

Source: EunikaSopotnicka / Getty Images

47. South Dakota
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $23.59
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $15 million — (3rd lowest)
> Legal status: Legalized*
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 8.8% — (6th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 635,739

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

46. Mississippi
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $23.93
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $51 million — (16th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 8.8% — (7th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,131,424

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

45. Virginia
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $24.37
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $154 million — (18th highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 8.6% — (4th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 6,320,168

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Source: KudicM / Getty Images

44. Iowa
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $24.41
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $56 million — (17th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 8.6% — (5th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,294,466

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

43. North Dakota
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $25.31
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $14 million — (2nd lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.4% — (11th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 553,228

Source: Majestic_Aerials / Getty Images

42. Oklahoma
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $25.78
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $73 million — (21st lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.3% — (9th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,831,196

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

41. North Carolina
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $25.87
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $200 million — (14th highest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.2% — (8th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 7,730,808

Source: collins_family / Flickr

40. Wyoming
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $26.26
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $11 million — (the lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.5% — (12th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 418,893

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39. Louisiana
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $26.39
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $89 million — (22nd lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.5% — (13th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 3,371,916

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

38. New Jersey
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $27.34
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $181 million — (16th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.4% — (10th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 6,620,377

Source: vkbhat / Getty Images

37. Idaho
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $27.63
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $35 million –(8th lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.1% — (19th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,266,533

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

36. South Carolina
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $27.79
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $106 million — (25th lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.3% — (21st lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 3,813,659

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

35. Georgia
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $27.86
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $213 million — (12th highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.7% — (15th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 7,645,283

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

34. Kentucky
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.07
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $92 million — (23rd lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.0% — (18th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 3,277,406

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

33. Alabama
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.27
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $102 million — (24th lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.1% — (20th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 3,608,467

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

32. Nebraska
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.32
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $39 million –(10th lowest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.0% — (17th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,377,093

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Source: AndreyKrav / Getty Images

31. Ohio
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.63
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $247 million — (10th highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.6% — (14th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 8,627,797

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

30. Pennsylvania
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.88
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $279 million — (8th highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 9.7% — (16th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 9,660,388

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

29. Tennessee
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.95
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $146 million — (20th highest)
> Legal status: Fully Illegal
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.5% — (24th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 5,043,319

Source: Eric Tessmer / Wikimedia Commons

28. Hawaii
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $28.98
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $31 million — (6th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.9% — (25th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,069,806

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

27. Missouri
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $29.19
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $132 million — (22nd highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.5% — (24th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,522,768

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

26. Arkansas
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $29.65
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $65 million — (19th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.7% — (25th lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,192,034

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

25. Wisconsin
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $30.57
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $132 million — (22nd highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 11.0% — (24th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,317,545

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Source: marchello74 / Getty Images

24. Florida
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $30.85
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $508 million — (2nd highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 10.4% — (22nd lowest)
> Population 21 and older: 16,467,996

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

23. West Virginia
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $32.21
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $44 million — (13th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 11.5% — (21st highest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,365,932

Source: culbertson / Getty Images

22. Minnesota
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $32.50
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $134 million — (21st highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 11.6% — (20th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,122,678

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

21. Illinois
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $33.35
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $312 million — (7th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 11.1% — (22nd highest)
> Population 21 and older: 9,356,390

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $33.96
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $152 million — (19th highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 12.1% — (19th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,476,458

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Source: FilippoBacci / Getty Images

19. New York
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $34.00
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $499 million — (3rd highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 11.0% — (23rd highest)
> Population 21 and older: 14,674,437

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

18. Indiana
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $35.10
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $171 million — (17th highest)
> Legal status: Medical Only
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 12.3% — (18th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,871,760

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

17. Arizona
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $36.95
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $197 million — (15th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 13.6% — (15th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 5,332,094

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

16. Delaware
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $37.00
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $27 million — (4th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 13.4% — (16th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 729,636

Source: choness / Getty Images

15. California
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $41.63
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $1.2 billion — (the highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 13.4% — (17th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 29,044,071

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

14. Connecticut
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $41.71
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $112 million — (25th highest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 14.4% — (13th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,685,230

Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

13. Michigan
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $43.88
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $326 million — (5th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 14.3% — (14th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 7,428,907

Source: ferrantraite / Getty Images

12. New Mexico
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $44.26
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $68 million — (20th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 15.7% — (12th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,536,368

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

11. Massachusetts
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $46.98
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $246 million — (11th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 16.1% — (11th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 5,236,619

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

10. New Hampshire
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $48.79
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $51 million — (16th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 16.9% — (10th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,045,381

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Source: peeterv / Getty Images

9. Montana
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $48.86
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $39 million — (10th lowest)
> Legal status: Legalized*
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 17.0% — (9th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 798,199

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

8. Nevada
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $50.85
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $116 million — (24th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 18.1% — (7th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 2,281,239

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

7. Rhode Island
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $51.20
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $41 million — (11th lowest)
> Legal status: Medical and Decriminalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 17.4% — (8th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 800,805

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Source: MarkHatfield / iStock via Getty Images

6. Washington
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $55.32
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $314 million — (6th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 19.3% — (6th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 5,675,664

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

5. Maine
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $56.21
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $59 million — (18th lowest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 19.6% — (5th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 1,049,640

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Source: sorincolac / Getty Images

4. Alaska
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $57.36
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $30 million — (5th lowest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 19.8% — (4th highest)
> Population 21 and older: 523,018

Source: Planet Unicorn / Getty Images

3. Colorado
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $58.88
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $252 million — (9th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 20.5% — (3rd highest)
> Population 21 and older: 4,279,893

Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

2. Oregon
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $64.67
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $207 million — (13th highest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 22.1% — (2nd highest)
> Population 21 and older: 3,200,622

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

1. Vermont
> Potential annual excise tax revenue per adult (21+): $66.94
> Potential annual total excise tax revenue: $32 million — (7th lowest)
> Legal status: Legalized
> Pct of adults using in last 30 days: 22.3% — (the highest)
> Population 21 and older: 478,059

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