Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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First days of recreational marijuana sales generate about $500,000 in taxes

Recreational Weed Sales Start

L.E. Baskow

Customers wait in a long line at Reef Dispensaries in Las Vegas as recreational marijuana sales begin at midnight in Nevada on Friday, June 30, 2017.

Updated Sunday, July 9, 2017 | 2:18 p.m.

Recreational Weed Sales Start

Many customers waiting in a long line at Reef Dispensaries wear weed-related items as recreational sales of marijuana begin at Midnight in Nevada and dispensaries across Las Vegas are open too on Friday, June 30, 2017. Launch slideshow »

The first four days of legal recreational marijuana sales generated $3 million in sales revenue and about $500,000 in tax revenue, putting Nevada on pace to achieve an estimated $30 million in sales revenue over the next six months of recreational sales, according to the Nevada Dispensary Association.

The sales figure was generated from Saturday’s first day of recreational marijuana sales to Tuesday. The tax rate for recreational pot is 33 to 38 percent, depending on local regulations, with all state and local taxes included. A 15 percent tax on wholesale marijuana distribution from cultivation and production facilities included in the total tax rate did not contribute to this week’s tax revenue, as dispensaries loaded up on supply prior to July 1 when the new wholesale tax took effect.

“We had a higher demand than everybody initially thought,” dispensary association director Riana Durrett said. “It shows this market really exists.”

Thousands of marijuana shoppers took to dispensaries over the weekend, forming lines as long as three hours for their chance to legally purchase the plant. Nevadans passed Ballot Question 2 in November, legalizing the use and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana flower or up to one-eighth ounce of concentrates. Legislation allowing sales of the plant at medically licensed dispensaries was finalized in late May.

Nevada was one of four states to legalize recreational use of the plant in November’s election. In addition, four other states allow recreational pot sales.

Editor’s note: This story has been revised. An earlier version contained an incorrect figure on the amount of tax revenue that has been generated.