This story originally appeared on Benzinga
The Grand Canyon State set another marijuana sales record as residents spent more than $1.4 billion on cannabis during the first year after voters approved recreational cannabis in November 2020 when nearly 60% of voters said “yes” to Prop 207, dubbed Smart & Safe.
Data from the Arizona Department of Revenue showed that the adult-use market has pulled in almost $650 million, even though sales only began on Jan. 22, 2021, reported Arizona Mirror. Medical marijuana, which has been up and running for some 10 years, brought in $752 million in 2021.
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Recreational vs. medical
Interestingly, in December adult-use sales surpassed medical cannabis for the second time, bringing in almost $67.2 million, versus $53.5 million, respectively. Furthermore, December sales set a record for the third in a row, exceeding November sales of $64 million.
When adult-use cannabis sales started last January, they generated $11.4 million in about 10 days. At the time, Harvest Health, which has since been acquired by Trulieve Cannabis Corp., was the only dispensary ready for sales expected to start in March. Other marijuana shops didn’t waste any time jumping in and expanding their business to medical cannabis.
With Arizona collecting a 16% excise tax on recreational sales in addition to the standard sales tax, cannabis sales provided a notable tax contribution last year.
At the end of 2021, adult-use marijuana sales brought in more than $104.1 million in excise taxes and tax revenue amounted to $113.5 million. Counting in medical cannabis sales taxes, cannabis sales in the state accumulatively contributed nearly $218 million to state funds.