For the Cities That Have Embraced It, Legal Cannabis Pays Off

It’s been six months since recreational pot sales became legal in California. And what do California locales have to show for it? Plenty, according to this latest analysis from Leafly -- that is, if they’ve been willing to open their doors.

California cities that approved legal cannabis sales beginning January 1 will net hundreds of millions of dollars in combined local sales tax revenues this year, an exclusive Leafly analysis has found. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the state, which continues to ban cannabis sales is on track to forfeit their millions to local street dealers. 

For instance, Leafly found:

• San Diego collected $2.26 million in cannabis taxes from Jan. 1 to July 13 of 2018. Its budget projects $5.99 million in cannabis tax revenue for the current fiscal year.

• Sacramento took in $2.9 million in marijuana tax revenue during the first half of 2018.

• Santa Rosa took in $116,693 for the first quarter of 2018. Second quarter figures will be released at the end of the month.

• Oakland is projecting $11 million from cannabis sales taxes for the full fiscal year.

These cities are among the fortunate few. Adult-use cannabis sales are still prohibited in the vast majority (85 percent) of California’s localities.


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