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U.S. Could Rake In $3 Billion… If Pot Were Legal

An infographic diviies up the amount of money each state could earn from the potential 3 billion dollars that they US could make.
Inforgraphic courtesy Nerd Wallet


U.S. Could Rake In $3 Billion… If Pot Were Legal

The line down at the neighborhood gas station down the street is a little longer than it used to be. All the filling stations are occupied with people pumping gas into their cars and the inside is bustling with patrons grabbing energy drinks, candy bars, chips, scratcher tickets and rolling papers. This little store has become the place to be after scoring some weed from the dispensary located right around the corner. No more asking a friend of a friend for recommendations or making the re-up phone call. Need some tasty sativa? No problem. Prefer a dank indica? Simply head to a dispensary and say the word. Just ask the man behind the counter for any of the clearly-labeled, quarter-ounce bags full of classics like Girl Scout CookiesSour Diesel or Blue Dream and then enjoy.

If cannabis were fully legalized in every state, scenes like the ones described above would be happening around the globe; not just in pot paradises like Colorado. Marijuana would be readily available in safe, convenient locations where people felt comfortable purchasing their favorite plants and residents could reap the benefits that accompany a robust increase in revenue for their state.

A new study conducted by Nerd Wallet estimates that the United States could more than $3 billion in state and local tax revenue each year if cannabis was legalized nationwide. The group used statistics from Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration to see how many adults over the age of 25 were smoking cannabis in each state. After some calculations (which are explained in detail on the site), Nerd Wallet was able to estimate how much revenue each state could potentially make in sales and taxes if cannabis was legalized for adult use.

States including Texas, FloridaMichigan and New York would be high-earning places but California would take the cake, potentially earning an estimated $519 million in just one year of legal sales. Colorado is already well on its way to earning $78 million in sales and taxes by June of next year. Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota are the lowest-earning states with potential revenue below $10 million.

Later this year in November, AlaskaOregon and Washington, D.C. will have the opportunity to vote on full cannabis legalization for adults. D.C. could make more than $8 million, Alaska could earn over $11 million in sales and tax revenue and Oregon could earn more than $54 million in one year of sales.

Do you think your state should legalize cannabis? Tell us what you think.



  1. anonymous

    November 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Kentucky, please legalize it here , it does more help for people then bad , since when has anyone ever heard of a marijuana smoker going out and killing people ? Never. Cannibinoids have been proven to shrink cancer cells , tumors etc I don’t care if it is taxed , it would definitely cause all the money that we lost to bullshit Obama , to be recovered. Legalize marijuana Kentucky 2015

  2. mike regan

    October 15, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Legalize Louisiana.
    I have disc in my neck and back herniated and fybrocis in my liver. Also from time to time migraine.
    Pills destroy my liver so. Cannabis helps.
    Ease the pain Louisiana.


    October 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    TENNESSEE needs to legalize,for medicinal,i’ve smoked for 37 years when I don’t smoke, I could get aggravated and rip something apart,when I smoke im good and mellow I also have a bad back, and weed takes my pain away


    October 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I don’t understand why they don’t or want t legalize its a natural plant, tobacco is natural, its considered to be a drug, beer and alcohol are manufactured from ” what” natural products. the government and pharmacuticles are manufactured from chemical.doing away with prohibition helped the government pay taxes. LEGALIZE LEGALIZE. TENNESSEE NEEDS TO LEGALIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Jack

    October 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    IN plz

  6. Camren Thomas

    October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Legalize it in Louisiana. But it should be legalized everywhere. In all the history of documented weed smoking not one person has ever overdosed on it but yet thousands of people die everyday from alchohol and pills wich anyone can get at a pharmacy.

  7. Jeramy

    October 2, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I think Montana defiantly should just in the town I live in we have 8 dispensaries two of witch are right across the street from me and they decriminalized possession up to an ounce already so what could it hurt it’s better than tobacco safer than alcohol it’s even safer than peanuts lol 100 deaths a year from peanuts

  8. Jessica Faye Daniels

    October 2, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Indiana needs to!! It benefits a lot. Let me tell you!!
    I used to be 230 lbs. I had stopped eating hanging out with friends & family, u know the whole nine yards. I had became sick. If it wasn’t for cannabis I would have probably died. I smoke everyday! I now eat, i have a social life, got married, etc. People need to stop believing in the false accusations.

  9. Lola

    October 1, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I think they should legalize marijuana in Minnesota and all states

  10. D.Hock

    October 1, 2014 at 7:17 pm


  11. D.Hock

    October 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Legalize Florida

  12. reese

    October 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    i wish south carolina would legalize….even if just for medicinal, this stuff is life saving i have been a smoker for 20 years, i have survived 3 types of cancer and i atribute it not to chemo or surgeries but to marijuana!!!! it’s the only thing that allowed me to eat, function, deal with pain without being dooped up on twenty different pain killers (which are way more harmful to your body)!!! it’s time to legalize #makeitlegal

    • terry

      October 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Heck were smoking it it please

  13. Lana

    October 1, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Yes it should be all across the US! #FreeWeed #SmokeTheVote #HEMP

    • Lola

      October 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      I agree 100%

  14. Larry

    October 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    OK OK YOUR SAYING $.166,000,000.00 Million dollars to create jobs for every state that decriminalize the laws on CANNIBIS ?

  15. Jerry McBride

    October 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I think it would be great if all states had at least legal for medical purpose. But if they wanted to legalize it for recreational use I would not be upset this is something I indulged in every since I was 16 years old and I am now 58 I’ve always thought that one day it would be legalized throughout the United States therefore our government protects it just like cigarettes and make a killing

    • Lola

      October 1, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      No I think they should legalize it for all purposes

  16. April

    October 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I live in Texas which still carries some of the stiffest penalties for weed possession. I’m about to find out just how stiff as I got busted with less than 2oz about a month ago! I feel sadly that Texas will be one of the last states, if ever, to legalize! Seeing these statistics and how much the whole country could benefit I just don’t understand WHY NOT!!!!

  17. stonerinn

    October 1, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Yes I just cant wait for the hotels like Stoner Inn to start allowing you to costume marijuana on hotel property…

  18. porker

    October 1, 2014 at 5:10 am

    the states is my preferred choice,but in this system,id go with the feds backing off entirely. then the state that don’t like freedom,can keep doing what their doing,,,, and watch the population seek freedom elsewhere.
    its a freedom issue,to my mind.
    i don’t tell others what to do in their home,don’t tell me what to do in mine.
    Greed will ensure its gonna come. the politicians that change their tune about weed?? not another single vote! and screw this tax BS. my neighbor that gardens veggies,,he pays no tax on his food he grows,why should another be taxed on what he/she decides to grow?
    People like the 40% or so tax on rec weed?? fine,tax EVERYTHING that same rate,see how THEY like them apples.

  19. Peaches

    September 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Idk but I sure hope so!!

  20. humombird

    September 30, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Yes free the medicine in TX! End racist based prohibition now!

  21. David Beverage

    September 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Yes WV should defiantly legalize!!

  22. Corey Tutt

    September 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    South Carolina should legalize da all natural medicine.

  23. Brian

    September 30, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    The state of Illinois is broke. So legalizing marijuana in the state of Illinois would be a great thing with the revenue and the taxes on Marijuana would bring the state of Illinois out of the hole and the crime in Chiraq would goes down

  24. Kevin

    September 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I am hoping MA.will legalize in 2016
    Medical is a start but still no dispensaries open…You would think it is a no brainer….and with how greedy this state already is about taxes…

  25. leslie luttrell

    September 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    wish missouri would legalize it.I have many of the things wrong with me nothing else helps.Our congressmen mayors should get together and make it leagle

  26. Michael Redline

    September 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Colorado made 1 million on the 1st day of recreational sales

  27. Michael Redline

    September 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Im sorry colorado would rake in more money than any other state… come on we are the mile HIGH state…

    • LOLatRedline

      September 30, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Are you MAD? California would easily overtake Colorado in sales….

  28. R Joe

    September 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Is North Carolina close to legalizing cannabis?

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