In the three and a half years pot has been legal, its sales have officially brought in $500 million in tax revenue. The milestone was actually reached in May but a new report released Wednesday by VS Strategies illustrates where that money has gone.
A large chunk of the $500 million - $160 million - has been given to schools. Each year the first $40 million collected from the state's excise tax on recreational marijuana goes into BEST- the Building Excellent Schools Today fund.
The report details specifically where some of that money went. Per the report: $117.9 million was used to fund school construction projects, and an additional $5.7 million was distributed to the Public School Fund. $5.8 million was allocated for school dropout prevention programs and bullying prevention and education, plus more than $4.5 million for grants to increase the presence of school health professionals.
The next largest benefactor of the marijuana tax revenue has been the Department of Public Health and Environment and other health agencies. Together they were allocated 22.6 percent of the of the state's pot tax revenue over the last 12 months. That money goes to places that treat and prevent substance abuse, as well as general health.
The rest of the money is divided between regulation, research, criminal justice and public safety and youth services programs.