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$122 Million In Taxes: Michigan’s Reward For Legalized Marijuana


safer michigan marijuanaWallStreetCheatSheet.com, an Internet business news portal, has published a list of the seven states who stand the most to gain financially from the legalization of marijuana, and Michigan is on the list.

Michigan’s potential revenue from sales and excise taxes: $122 million.

Sales and excise taxes go directly to the government and pay for the roads and schools. The total value of Michigan’s marijuana market was projected to be over $580 million in sales to people over the age of 25. If legalized nationally the market for marijuana has been estimated to be $14 billion or more annually.

The list ranked Michigan as 7th in revenue potential behind Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New York and California- which topped the projected earnings scale at $519.3 million.

How did the number crunchers arrive at their conclusion? NerdWallet explains the methodology in this way:

We used data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration detailing the percentage of marijuana smokers ages 25 and over in each state and multiplied that percentage by the state’s population older than 25 to get the number of users in each state. We then took the state’s users as a percentage of total users over 25 in the U.S. and multiplied that by the total marijuana market estimate (sized at $14 billion by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron) to determine the market size in each state.

A hypothetical 15% excise tax was included, as were state and local tax numbers.

Think these numbers are inflated? Guess again. Colorado put nearly $8 million in their state coffers in the month of August alone from taxes on recreational and medical marijuana sales. That’s not total sales of marijuana for the month, it’s actual money paid to the state by consumers.

6th-ranked Ohio’s potential revenue from sales and excise taxes on marijuana sales was less than $1 million larger than Michigan’s, and Illinois came in 5th with $126 million. Although both Illinois and Ohio are more populous and have higher sales taxes, Michigan has a higher percentage of adults who use marijuana, which increased the earnings estimate.

Based on the methodology used, Michigan is projected to currently have 437,649 marijuana consumers over 25 years of age, despite marijuana’s prohibited status. The state medical marijuana program has more than 120,000 registered patients.

Michigan’s entry in the list of seven is included below. Visit the original source material at NerdWallet.com or check out the analysis contained in the nifty top 7 list at Wallstreetcheatsheet.com.



Population ages 25 and older: 6.62 million

Percent of population 25 and older who have used marijuana in the past month: 6.61%

Number of marijuana users: 437,649

State’s portion of the marijuana market: 4.15%

Marijuana market size: $581.27 million

Tax rate state and local sales taxes combined plus excise tax of 15%: 21%

Potential annual revenue from sales and excise taxes: $122.1 million

Illicit drug use percentage among persons ages 12 and older: 8.68% to 9.35%

Current marijuana legislation: medical legal


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. Let’s get the facts straight. The money would go into the general fund. They used the roads and school BS to get the Lottery passed. Either way it would generate money from the state!

  2. Yes! I would love to support a state like Michigan towards recreational legalization! While I am PROUD Oregonian, I spent many years in Chicago and would often travel to Michigan. Ann Arbor is like a west coast town in the middle of the midwest. This state deserves this. Detroit could be put back on the map in a huge way. YES MICHIGAN!

  3. This study seems to be focused only on marijuana – used for medicinal/recreational use. If we add in industrial hemp to this equation – MI would be back in business!

  4. Since I am a Michigander I am happy with those numbers. But that is not the whole picture. Jobs created from stores that sell legal marijuana if it was legalized, supply stores , income tax collected would increase. What about a renewed agriculture in hemp let’s save some trees, let increase our earths oxygen, from green plants that grow fast. There is so many reason to legalize the best one is to stop putting people in prison for non violent drug offenses.

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