Massachusetts has raised over $150 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales

Massachusetts has collected over $150 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales since the state began selling cannabis at the end of 2018. That’s from nearly $800 million in total cannabis sales. That tax revenue is really important right now, as states are struggling to maintain their budgets while dealing with a major recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This tax revenue milestone is a big moment for the Massachusetts cannabis business community because it shows not only the great demand for safe, regulated cannabis but also affirms the meaningful value this industry brings to cities and towns every single day,” Commonwealth Dispensary Association President David Torrisi said.

Torrisi said he’s happy that this tax revenue can help support state and local budgets that have been in desperate need of help lately. Not only is the tax revenue great, but it’s important that cannabis businesses have been able to stay open and keep people employed at a time when so many people are without a job. The industry is benefitting the state and the community.

Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Cannabis News Box that these sales could be even higher with some policy changes.
“It would appear that the retail cannabis stores in Massachusetts are doing quite a bit of business and producing significant state and local tax revenue that will help mitigate the economic harms associated with COVID-19. It is, however, unfortunate that there are not more businesses operating in the state because these numbers could be much higher,” Simon said. “Massachusetts has been slow to issue business licenses, resulting in a situation where consumer demand is much greater than available supply.”

Though it could be doing even better, the industry seems to be doing quite well. Simon said he expects the industry to continue growing for the foreseeable future, which will continue to benefit the community as more jobs are created and the state as tax revenues go up.

As surrounding states struggle to make up for budget losses, it’s quite possible politicians who were hesitating to support legalization might change their tune. There are only so many ways you can increase tax revenue without increasing taxes on citizens, which isn’t typically a popular thing to do. It’s certainly much easier to just tax a product that the people already planned on buying from somewhere in the first place.