Marijuana is now big business.

How big?

So far this year, Californias have conducted $3.8 billion in legal marijuana sales, which has generated in excess of $800 million in cannabis tax revenue, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. In just the last quarter, tax revenues listed by the state were $269.3 million.

In 2017, Torrey Holistics — which is just to the east of Torrey Pines across the I-5 — received the first recreational dispensary license in the state of California.

“My immediate reaction is: That’s fantastic. Those tax revenues are amazing,” said David Dallal, chief financial officer of Torrey Holistics, a self-described “recreational marijuana dispensary.” “Legalization has been a great thing for the state.”

Prop 64 went into effect on Jan.1, 2018.

“The industry went from $2 billion in 2018 to over $5 billion now,” Dallal said. “That’s over 160% increase in the short time that the industry has been around.”

Dallal believes the enormous tax revenues that cannabis has generated have shifted some of the negative perceptions surrounding the marijuana industry.

“Legalization has pushed a lot of the illicit market aside — and money that was going to nefarious things,” Dallal said. “Now that money is going to good things.”

So where does all this cannabis tax money go?

As Dallal said, it’s targeted for “good things”: State-funded projects like transportation initiatives, libraries, environmental cleanups, drug prevention, schools and universities.

Locally, UC San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research receives a $2 million annual allocation from cannabis tax revenues. The CMCR is at the forefront of advancing science and policy relating to the clinical benefits and limitations of cannabis as medicine. Research projects include safety studies on the effects of marijuana on people driving cars, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and more.

“I have been impressed that the government of California has been forward in this sense,” said Dr. Igor Grant, the director of CMCR. ”I don’t know of any other state that has provided research for this topic.”

“We now have two dozen studies that are funded from that tax program,” Grant said. “California has been at the forefront of this with governmental interest and support of getting the facts here.”

Fill The form and get your coupon