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Arizona Legal Marijuana Sales Surpass $1 Billion In 1st Year

Saturday will make a year since Arizona legalized Cannabis. In its first legal year, marijuana brought in $1.2 billion


Saturday, January 22 will make one year since legal adult-use Cannabis sales were began in Arizona. In its first legal year in the state, marijuana brought in $1 .2 billion in total revenue. 

Arizona’s Department of Revenue announced the total Cannabis sales reached more than $1.2 billion. That total doesn’t include December’s final reports. This surpasses initial projections, reports ABC 15 Arizona.

It also blew away the first-year sales of other states that have legalized adult-use Cannabis. For example, revenue from Colorado was $292 million, Oregon had nearly $345 million, Washington at more than $185 million, and Nevada at nearly $425 million. 

November Sales Set New Monthly Record

In November, adult-use marijuana sales hit a new peak, surpassing $60 million for the first time, reports the Arizona Mirror. Medical sales fluctuated throughout 2021, peaking at about $73 million in March and April.

Medical marijuana bested adult-use sales from February through October; adult-use sales began on Jan. 22, 2021. But in November, those numbers were almost even, with the medical program bringing in an estimated $60,365,545, while recreational sales reached $60,299,191.

In October, estimated cannabis sales for both programs were within $7 million of each other. That’s first time adult-use sales came within $10 million of medical sales. But the adult-use market is in its infancy. It’s expected to match or beat the medical program’s economic heft within a few years, but we predict that’ll happen by the end of this year.

Cannabis Is Copacetic For Tax Coffers

Cannabis sales also provided a solid tax contribution in Arizona in 2021. 

The state levies a 16% excise tax on adult sales in addition to the standard sales tax. Medical marijuana patients pay roughly 6% in state sales tax. Local jurisdictions charge an additional 2% or so for all Cannabis sales.

Taxes collected in November for adult-use cannabis sales were $5,055,950, with medical slightly less at $5,026,317. The excise tax reached $10,110,032 for a total of $20,192,299 in tax revenue from November marijuana sales.

Proposition 207, which voters passed in 2020 to legalize marijuana, included specific uses for taxes collected on adult use. One-third is dedicated to community college and provisional community college districts; 31% to public safety — police, fire departments, fire districts, first responders — 25% to the Arizona Highway User Revenue Fund. Ten percent goes to the justice reinvestment fund, a racial equity effort. It’s dedicated to providing public health services, counseling, job training and other social services for communities adversely affected and disproportionately impacted by marijuana arrests and prohibition. 

The state collected a total of $196,447,570 in tax revenue the first 11 months of 2021 from marijuana sales. That total includes $44,533,436 from recreational, $58,916,172 from medical and $92,997,962 from the excise tax.

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