America’s Amsterdam: July Pot Sales Top $27M for Nevada

Medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries won big in July — the first month of permissible recreational marijuana sales in Nevada — selling more than $27 million of legal cannabis.

And with nearly 43 million visitors headed to the Las Vegas Strip annually, it would appear the state has hit the tax revenue jackpot!

Nearly exceeding the combined total of Colorado and Oregon’s first month of recreational marijuana sales (approximately $14 million each), Nevada’s total sales of all things marijuana in July added just over $3.6 million to the state’s tax coffers.

Nevada marijuana dispensaries

Clark County marijuana dispensaries courtesy of Weedmaps

Anticipated to generate approximately $56.2 million in new tax revenue by 2019, the 15 percent wholesale tax, which is paid by both recreational and medicinal cultivators, pulled down $974,060 during the first month of operations. Originally intended to help fund Nevada’s cash-strapped schools, the marijuana wholesale tax must first offset any administrative costs for the program, according to the state’s press release.

“The revenue goes to Nevada schools, via the distributive school account, after administrative costs for the Department and local governments.”

The 10 percent marijuana retail tax, which is paid by consumers of adult-use marijuana, harvested another tidy $2.71 million for the state’s “rainy day fund” in just 30 days – the sum is anticipated to exceed $63 million over the next 24 months.

The Nevada Department of Taxation, which administers both the recreational and medical marijuana programs, has processed 333 applications for Nevada’s marijuana industry and issued 250 licenses, “including 53 retail stores, 92 cultivation facilities, 65 product manufacturing facilities, 9 testing labs, and 31 distributors,” according to state records.

Primarily located in Clark County (203 licenses), the remainder of Nevada’s 250 recreational and medical marijuana licenses are scattered throughout the Silver State.

Restricted by a distribution gridlock early on, thanks to the political muscle of Big Alcohol, more than a few Las Vegas dispensary owners believe their total sales for July were restricted by a lack of supply.


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