Cannabis taxes generated $48.97 million worth of revenue for Nevada in the first nine months of licensed dispensaries selling recreational weed, outpacing predictions and putting the state on a path to easily earn the $50.32 million projected for the fiscal year ending June 30, officials said recently.
Nevada dispensaries sold just over $41 million worth of recreational or “adult-use” marijuana in March, setting a new state record in terms of monthly cannabis sales, according to the state Department of Taxation.
An excise tax paid by consumers on recreational marijuana products generated $4.10 million for the state in March, and a wholesale tax paid by cultivation and production facilities that supply dispensaries with both recreational and medical cannabis generated $2.99 million that month, the department said.
Altogether the taxes yielded Nevada about $7.09 million in revenue during the month of March, substantially higher than the previous record set in February of $5.95 million, and bringing the total amount of cannabis-related tax revenue reaped by the state during the first ninth months of legal sales to $48.97 million.
“With three months still in the fiscal year, Nevada has already brought in about 97 percent of the combined marijuana tax revenue that was projected for the entire year,” said Bill Anderson, the director of the state Department of Taxation.
“March numbers continue to point to a strong likelihood that Nevada will close out the fiscal year this June with much more robust marijuana revenue collections than anticipated,” he said in a statement.
Nevadans legalized medical and recreational marijuana in 2000 and 2016, respectively, and the state’s recreational law permitted licensed dispensaries to sell retail cannabis starting July 1, 2017, making it one of only six states with such systems in place.
Recreational marijuana sales surpassed $300 million between July and March, in turn earning the state over $30 million in revenue through the retail excise tax. Total taxable sales, including medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and marijuana-related goods for that same nine-month span is $385.99 million, said the state government.
The office of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, previously projected that marijuana taxes would raise an average of $5 million a month for the state during the first two years of legalization. Revenue collected from the 15 percent wholesale tax is used to fund the cannabis industry regulation and state education efforts, while revenue generated by the 10 percent retail tax is allocated to the state’s rainy day fund.