Nevada made more than $100 million in taxes and fees last year from recreational marijuana sales, according to new numbers provided by an industry group.
The Nevada Dispensary Association said recreational dispensaries, cultivators and other cannabis businesses reported $109 million paid to the state in the form of excise taxes in the last fiscal year. That’s compared to $75 million the year before that — the first year of recreational cannabis sales in Nevada.
Nevada has consistently reported booming sales as a result of voters who approved legalizing recreational marijuana sales in 2016. The association said cannabis sales were also up from $529 million in fiscal year 2018 to approximately $639 million in fiscal year 2019, an increase of $110 million.
“One thing it says is there is a large cannabis consumer population out there. You flip the switch one day and all of a sudden these people were buying cannabis,” Riana Durrett, the president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said in an interview with FOX 13. “These were people who were consuming cannabis before, they were just doing it from the illegal market. So Nevada has done a great job in saying we are doing this in a strict, legal fashion.”
In addition to the $100 million in excise taxes, Durrett estimated cannabis consumers paid about $50 million in retail taxes to the state of Nevada in the last fiscal year. She predicted sales to continue to increase, but did not believe more licenses would be issued.
Utah voters approved medical marijuana, and the state is in the midst of creating its tightly regulated program by March 1, 2020. The closest recreational dispensaries are in Mesquite, Nev., and one being built in West Wendover that will open later this year.