State policy toward cannabis is evolving rapidly. While much of the debate around legalization has rightly focused on potential health and criminal justice impacts, legalization also has revenue implications for state and local governments that choose to regulate and tax cannabis sales. This report describes the various options for structuring state and local taxes on cannabis and identifies approaches currently in use. It also undertakes an in-depth exploration of state cannabis tax revenue performance and offers a glimpse into what may lie ahead for these taxes.
This year lawmakers in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will all be debating the taxation of recreational cannabis. A new ITEP report reviews the track record of recreational cannabis taxes thus far and offers recommendations for structuring cannabis taxes to achieve stable revenue growth over the long haul.