Massachusetts is officially collecting more tax revenue from marijuana than alcohol, state data shows. As of December 2021, the state took in $51.3 million from alcohol taxes and $74.2 million from cannabis at the halfway point of the fiscal year. Overall, Massachusetts has seen $2.54 billion in adult-use marijuana purchases since the market came online in November 2018. Regulators first reported that the state achieved the $2 billion sales milestone in September. The news about cannabis overtaking alcohol in terms of tax revenue, which WCVB-TV first reported, is a welcome development for advocates who have been arguing that the plant is less harmful than liquor and could be used as a substitute. Illinois also saw cannabis taxes beat out booze for the first time last year, with the state collecting about $100 million more from adult-use marijuana than alcohol during 2021. States that have legalized marijuana have collectively garnered more than $10 billion in cannabis tax revenue since the first licensed sales started in 2014, according to a report released by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) earlier this month. And in those adult-use states, regulators are doing what they can to ensure that the tax dollars are effectively invested. For example, Illinois is dedicating portions of tax revenue to mental health services, as well as local organizations “developing programs that benefit disadvantaged communities.” In July, state officials put $3.5 million in cannabis-generated funds toward efforts to reduce violence through street intervention programs.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 01/24/2022 11:23:00