Marijuana revenue in 2018

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BISMARCK, N.D. - States like California began selling recreational marijuana on Monday and they are expecting a major windfall for tax revenue from sales.

North Dakota will likely be selling medical marijuana in 2018 but is anticipated to see the same type of cash flow.

Unlike recreational pot, medical marijuana won't see the types of tax rates other states are using.

Some experts expect Marijuana to become a $5 billion a year industry in California.

"Marijuana has been a big thing in California for ages but now it's coming to this," said Joshua De La Cruz, California customer.

The state taxes it at 15% and localities can add additional taxes. Here in North Dakota it won't be the same.

"Much more regulated who can even have access to it and it's subject to only the 5% state sales tax, no additional special tax on medical marijuana here in North Dakota," said Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger.

But pot has already proven profitable in other states.

"For example Colorado, I think they've, since 2012, generated about a billion dollars in tax revenue from the sales of recreational marijuana," said Rauschenberger.

The difference is medical. The state won't impose higher taxes on cannabis for patients. But it won't likely be the same for recreational pot.

"We have not looked at basically how much that could potentially bring in," said Rauschenberger.

It could be the next cash crop for the state.

A petition for recreational marijuana legalization is circulating in the state. Rauschenberger says if that becomes law, the legislature would have to pass a law allowing them to tax pot at a higher rate.