Medical marijuana sales are proving to be icing on the state's revenue cake nearly two years after the first dispensaries opened in Arkansas.
- The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported $330.4 million of statewide medical marijuana sales — more than 48,914 pounds — as of June 3.
- That adds to the state's projected surplus revenue of nearly $1 billion.
- NWA's four dispensaries alone have collectively sold 28.3% of the total volume in that time, more than 13,850 pounds.
Why it matters: Northwest Arkansas has become a key driver of the state's medical marijuana industry and of the sales tax revenue Arkansas collects on each purchase.
By the numbers: Arkansas collects 10.5% of pot sales purchased for medicinal reasons.
- A 6.5% state tax goes to general revenue and state government.
- A 4% privilege tax goes to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, specifically for the establishment of a National Cancer Institute.
Statewide, sales have generated more than $31.7 million in taxes as of March.
- Data only go through March due to the lag time in reporting.
- NWA buyers have paid nearly $9 million in tax on cannabis.
The big picture: Advocates and lawmakers favoring marijuana reform are trying to capitalize on the social justice movement and COVID-19 economic rebound to legalize the use of pot nationally, Axios' Alayna Treene reported recently.
- U.S. sales of marijuana hit $17.5 billion in 2020.
What's next: Five more dispensaries are licensed but not yet open in Arkansas, including one licensed to operate in Fayetteville.
- The Source, now located in Bentonville, is planning a move to Rogers to expand the business.
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