Nevada recreational marijuana sales reach $33M in August
by Colton Lochhead Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada dispensaries sold more than $33 million in recreational marijuana and the state pulled in nearly $5 million in total taxes in August, according to numbers released by the Nevada Department of Taxation Monday.
That’s up from the $27 million in sales and $3.7 million in taxes in July, the state’s first month of recreational weed sales.
The recreational sales numbers were significantly ahead of the state’s projected $21.5 million in sales for August. In fact, the state did not project any month in the first year of recreational sales to eclipse $28 million.
Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source dispensaries and president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said those projections will likely prove to be fairly conservative, and expects the market to continue to grow steadily over the next several months.
“I think it is a good indication that there was a large, pent-up demand that was being served by the black market,” Jolley said.
The August tax numbers broke down like so:
- $3.35 million generated by the 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana (up from $2.71 million in July)
- $1.51 million generated by the 15 percent wholesale tax at the cultivation level on all marijuana (up from $974,060 in July)
State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, also known as the godfather of pot in Nevada, said he was initially a little worried that the novelty of legal marijuana could lead to a drop off in the second month of sales.
But after talking to the industry, he said it was clear that wasn’t going to be the case for August.
“Obviously there’s a demand,” Segerblom said.
And Segerblom said he doesn’t think the sales and tax numbers will level off for at least two years, and pointed to the recent opening of five dispensaries in Henderson.
Segerblom also heaped the praise onto the industry as well as the state regulators for ensuring the market got off to a smooth start.
“Everyone’s just been really been working perfectly together,” he said.
SEATTLE — During the first month of legal marijuana sales in Washington state, stores sold just under $3.8 million, which is expected to bring in more than $1 million in state taxes, the state reported on Friday.
Although licenses have been issued for about 40 stores, only 18 were selling pot in July, and 16 of them have reported sales so far in August.
“It’s off to a healthy start, considering that the system isn’t fully up and running yet,” said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington Liquor Control Board.
Which only means there will be more hiring and more cannabis jobs. Check out CannabisJobs.US for all of the latest Cannabis and Marijuana Job listings.
During the first month of retail marijuana sales in Colorado, the state collected closer to $2 million in excise and sales taxes.
Like Colorado, Washington will tax marijuana in two ways: sales taxes and excise taxes.
Excise taxes are paid at three different points in the process: When the grower transfers the marijuana to the processor, when the processor transfers it to the store and when the retailer sells it to the consumer. The tax rate at all three points is 25 percent.
The Legislature is not banking on any marijuana revenue until the next fiscal year begins in July 2015. They have forecast tax collections totaling $122 million in the next two-year state budget cycle.
DENVER — June was the best-selling month yet for recreational pot in Colorado, with $24.7 million in total sales, according to state tax collections reported Friday.
Recreational pot sales were up more than 19 percent from May sales, an increase likely attributable to more stores opening.
Since January, Colorado has reaped $29.8 million from marijuana, according to June collections reported by the state Department of Revenue. That figure includes taxes, licenses and fees from both medical and recreational pot.
Recreational pot is inching toward medical pot in total sales.
In January, Colorado’s statewide sales tax on medical pot produced nearly twice the taxes produced by recreational pot. By June, the statewide 2.9 percent sales tax from medical pot brought in less than 20 percent more than the same tax on recreational weed.
Estimates for how much tax revenue legal weed would produce varied widely, with no preceding legal pot taxes on which to guess sales.
An estimate sent to Colorado voters last year projected the annual tax collections from sales and excise taxes on recreational pot at $70 million a year. And in February, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent lawmakers a budget request that projected some $98 million in pot taxes this fiscal year, which began in July.
Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt