Las Vegas Sun

November 20, 2018

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Nevada rakes in record $7 million in marijuana taxes in March

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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 continues to climb, setting a new high of more than $7 million in March, the ninth month of legal recreational pot sales, officials said today.

That’s up from the previous high of $5.95 million in February.

The revenue includes a 15 percent wholesale tax on medical and recreational marijuana and a 10 percent excise tax on recreational weed sales, the Nevada Department of Taxation said.

“Revenues from both taxes continue to outpace monthly and annual projections, pointing to a strong likelihood that Nevada will close out the fiscal year with much more robust marijuana revenue collections than anticipated,” said Bill Anderson, the department’s executive director.

The 15 percent wholesale tax — paid by cultivation and production facilities that supply dispensaries — generated nearly $3 million in March.

The 10 percent excise tax brought in a little more than $4 million. The excise tax, paid only on recreational pot, has raised $30.47 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 97 percent of the $50.32 million excise tax collections projected for July 1, 2017 to June 30 have been collected during the first nine months of the fiscal year, Department of Taxation spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein said.

By law, 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.