Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2018

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Tax revenue from Nevada marijuana sales set new high in May

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Steve Marcus

Alex Garcia looks over edibles in the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace during a dispensary bus tour sponsored by the Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Association Friday, April 20, 2018.

Tax revenue from marijuana sales in Nevada continue to increase, setting a new high of more than $7.1 million in May, the 11th month of legal recreational pot sales, officials said today.

That’s up from the previous high of $7 million in March.

The revenue includes a 15 percent wholesale tax on medical and recreational marijuana and a 10 percent excise tax on recreational sales.

“While marijuana-related sales may be a fairly small portion of overall sales activity in the state, they have clearly contributed to the growth Nevada has witnessed over the fiscal year that draws to a close in June,” said Bill Anderson, executive director of the Nevada Department of Taxation, which regulates the industry.

The 15 percent wholesale tax — paid by cultivation and production facilities that supply dispensaries — generated more than $2.7 million in May. The 10 percent excise tax brought in just under $4.4 million. The excise tax, paid only on recreational pot, has raised $38.43 million this fiscal year.

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office projected that the two taxes combined would raise an average of $5 million a month from July 2017 to July 2019, a total of $120 million.

Officials projected the first year of recreational sales would raise significantly less than average, with the final six months of 2019 bringing in the most.

Nearly 125 percent of the $50.32 million excise tax collections projected for July 1, 2017 to June 30 have been collected with 11 of 12 months of the fiscal year tallied, Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said.

Revenue from the wholesale tax is allocated to fund state and local government regulation of the industry, and what’s left is deposited into the Distributive School Account. Revenue from the excise tax is deposited into the Nevada Rainy Day Fund.