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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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.

Data: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

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.

Go deeper

Estimate: Revenues would drop before increasing under Dems' tax plan

Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has submitted a draft proposal on raising taxes. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Democrats plan to raise $1 trillion over 10 years by making the federal income tax code more progressive. But they won't get the money quickly — their plan actually decreases total income tax revenues in 2023. And when the money does come, it will come from the very rich.

Why it matters: Estimates released by the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation on Tuesday show the House Democrats' plan raising $12 billion less than the current tax regime in 2023. But it will raise $133 billion more in 2029.

Sep 15, 2021 - News

Arkansas set to redraw voting maps this month

Expand chart
Map: Axios Visuals

There's not much that's less sexy than redrawing congressional maps following the census, the process commonly called redistricting.

  • But it's a necessary and important part of our democratic process.

What's happening: State lawmakers will reconvene Sept. 29, which is an extension of their regular session. The plan is to redraw boundaries for Arkansas' four congressional districts.

Video game sales skyrocket to record highs

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

U.S. video game sales in August hit a record $4.4 billion, proving that the bump in gaming seen during the pandemic last year wasn't a passing trend.

The details: It was a huge month for hardware, which the NPD Group reports hit $329 million, the best August sales number since 2008.