The legal cannabis industry has seen incredible growth since legalization has sprouted in so many states around the US. The industry has an estimated worth of $5.4 billion as of 2015 and shows no sign of slowing down. Recreational sales shot up from $351 million in 2014 to $998 million in 2015 which is an increase of 184%. Despite medical benefits and being safer than alcohol, additional tax revenue seems to be a primary reason that states are interested in legalization. This year will see several states voting to reform their marijuana policy, possibly shifting the US into a new pro-marijuana majority.
Colorado was the first state to take the plunge and reaped $135 million in cannabis taxes and licensing fee in 2015, a 77 % increase over 2014. Even in a state like Washington that was beset with problems as its program was initiated managed to generate $70 million in tax revenues in its first year. Those tax dollars has prompted seven more states to vote on recreational marijuana laws this year.