Nevada's first month of recreational cannabis sales was a record-shattering success, according to data released by the state's Department of Taxation this week. Dispensaries sold over $27 million worth of cannabis products this July, bringing the state more than $3.6 million in tax revenue in just one month. This figure is nearly double the records set by other canna-legal states' initial sales. Colorado and Oregon sold around $14 million each during their first months of sales, and Washington sold under $4 million in its first month.
The sales figures are in line with the total annual sales projections by the Taxation Department. “Although July was not accounted for in our projections, the first month’s revenues demonstrate that the state’s structure appears to be collecting as a rate consistent with the consensus forecast,” Mari St. Martin, spokesperson for Gov. Brian Sandoval, said. Officials have predicted that recreational cannabis sales will bring the state $63.5 million over the next two years.
Out of the total $3.6 million in tax revenue, $2.7 million came from the special excise tax on recreational marijuana. This portion of the revenue will be reserved in a “rainy day fund” for the state to use as necessary. The state raised an additional $974,060 from the 15% tax levied on cannabis transfers between growers and sellers. In addition to the tax revenue, the state has collected $6.5 million in license and application fees. Some of this revenue will be used to cover the administrative costs of cannabis regulation, while the rest will go to the state's public education fund.
Three months into legalization, recreational sales do not seem to be slowing down. “We came out of the gate like a shotgun,” Matt Morgan, CEO of Reef Dispensaries, said. Morgan reported that his dispensary has a line of customers inside the store at all times, and the line stretches outside the store almost half of the time. Morgan said that he believes that the cannabis market in the state will continue to expand over time. “I still don’t think everyone understands that it’s recreational in Nevada yet,” he said.