Marijuana Tax in California

Record-Breaking Marijuana Tax Collections Reported in California the Last Fiscal Year


The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) has revealed the revenue figures for cannabis sales that took place during the second quarter of 2021. The cannabis tax generated in the state as of August 17, 2021, amounts to $212 million in revenue, and the cultivation tax amounted to $40.4 million.

$120.5 million has been collected as sales tax revenue during the second quarter from cannabis businesses. Sales tax applies to the sale of cannabis and cannabis products and also on other tangible personal property.

Total tax revenue reported in the industry as second-quarter returns amounted to $333.2 million. However, this does not cover the revenue collected by each jurisdiction. The revenue reported for the first quarter of the year was revised to $304.8 million.

The revision to the data is done as a result of late returns and other tax adjustments. Further details about cannabis tax revenue can be checked from the CDTFA Open Data Portal.

The CDTFA administers the sales and use of cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, fuel taxes, and a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. CDTFA-administered programs have accounted for over $73 billion annually.

These programs, in turn, support the essential services locally, such as public safety and health, transportation, schools, libraries, natural resource management programs, and social services through the distribution of tax dollars directly to the local communities.

According to recent estimates, California collected about $817 million in adult-use tax marijuana revenue during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. This is 55 percent more than the cannabis earnings for state coffers made in the previous fiscal year.

This increase in sales and revenue collected amid the pandemic is quite surprising. The marijuana marketplace has thrived even though cannabis businesses are not eligible for federal aid that was offered to other industries hit by the pandemic.

California isn’t the only state to report strong cannabis sales during the pandemic. A similar trend has been noted in the sales data obtained from Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington State as well.

It has been noted that marijuana purchases have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic than what has been noted in the previous two years.  In July alone, three states witnessed record-breaking sales of recreational cannabis.

Illinois also saw about $128 million recreational cannabis purchases the previous month, which is more than double the total monthly sales that happened a year ago. The adult-use market topped $100 million in the state for the fifth consecutive month this year. If the trend continues, the state will record over $1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales this year.

Michigan broke another record last month in marijuana sales with over $171 million in cannabis transactions as per the data released by a state regulatory body. About $43 million in medical cannabis and $128 million in adult-use sales were recorded in July.

As many states allowed cannabis retailers to remain open throughout the pandemic, record-breaking sales have been recorded in several US states.


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