Photo via Jardin Dispensary Las Vegas
Nevadans can’t get enough ganja. Less than four months into the state’s move to end cannabis prohibition and welcome reefer as yet another dish on Sin City’s menu of delights, recreational marijuana sales have surpassed all expectations, with data from the first two months of legal weed sales shattering initial revenue records set in Colorado and Washington.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a report released by the Nevada Department of Taxation early this week puts the Silver State’s recreational marijuana sales at $33 million for August alone, a $6 million increase from the state’s record-breaking $27 million in first-month sales this past July.
State officials had originally anticipated only $21.5 million in August sales, with no month this year expected to exceed $28 million in total. With tourists flocking from across the world and locals quickly opting for dispensary bud over black market buys, it appears Nevada tax officials can majorly upgrade their projections.
For local dispensary owners, the continued flood of businesses is more than welcome. With original predictions already crushed, Andrew Jolly, CEO of Las Vegas’ The+Source dispensary, fully expects increasing sales to continue as totals from September and October come to the surface.
“I think it is a good indication that there was a large, pent-up demand that was being served by the black market,” Jolley told the Review-Journal.
Those sentiments were backed by State Senator Tick Segerblom, the man who brought legal weed to Nevada and made the state’s first recreational cannabis purchase. Segerblom told the Las Vegas newspaper that he was initially worried about a possible drop-off in second month sales, but was pleasantly surprised to see the steady growth.
“Obviously there’s a demand,” Segerblom said. “Everyone’s just been really been working perfectly together.”
As for Nevada’s cut of those profits, the Silver State brought in almost $5 million in tax revenue in August, approximately $1 million more than the $3.7 million that the industry added to state tax coffers in July.
Breaking down the source of those funds, $3.35 million came from the state’s 10% retail cannabis sales tax while $1.51 million was generated by Nevada’s 15% wholesale tax.
Combined, Nevada’s recreational marijuana industry has turned over upwards of $8 million in state taxes, with cash from the wholesale tax going directly to the state’s public education services, while the more than $5 million in retail tax is being stored in the state’s “rainy day fund” for use as necessary.
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