US (CO): Cannabis tax revenue higher than alcohol, cigarettes

Cannabis was officially the state’s most lucrative “vice tax” last year.

Cannabis legalization advocates leaned heavily on cannabis possibilities as a state revenue generator in order to gain support for statewide legalization. Nearly a decade later, their predictions have come true, according to an analysis of state tax data from the Colorado General Assembly Legislative Council Staff.

Colorado made more in tax revenue from cannabis in the 2022-23 fiscal year than from either alcohol or cigarettes and nearly as much as the two combined. The state collected $282.3 million in tax revenue from cannabis, nearly $50 million more than it collected from cigarettes, and over $226 million more than it collected from alcohol.

Together, cigarettes and alcohol taxes totaled $290 million in tax revenue.

Cannabis tax revenue has gone toward school funding more than any other tax obligation, followed by drug programs. This tracks with bill language designed to funnel most cannabis taxes into school construction and counseling.


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