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California Netted $208 Million in Cannabis Tax From April to June

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Aug 24, 2020   
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Despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, California banked more than $208 million in cannabis tax revenue during April, May, and June, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

In total, the state has earned $1.45 billion from marijuana taxes since recreational sales became legal in January 2018.

On high

The $208.4 million sum slightly dwarfs the state’s cannabis tax revenue from the previous quarter (January to March), which totaled $205.9 million – a reassuring sign for those concerned how well the industry would perform amid the pandemic.

“Total tax revenue reported by the cannabis industry is $208.4 million for 2nd Quarter returns due by July 31, 2020,” the Department of Tax and Fee Administration wrote in a press statement released on August 19. “This does not include tax revenue collected by each jurisdiction.”

Since January 1, 2018, any cannabis legally produced for recreational use in California has been subject to at least two taxes: a cultivation tax on all harvested cannabis and a 15 percent cannabis excise tax on all sales of cannabis and cannabis products. Retail sales are also subject to state and local sales taxes.

“Previously reported revenue for 1st Quarter 2020 returns was revised to $205.9 million, which included $107.4 million in cannabis excise tax, $26.9 million in cultivation tax, and $71.6 million in sales tax,” the statement continued.

Certain sales of medical cannabis are exempt from such taxes if the purchaser provides a valid state medical marijuana identification card and government-issued ID.

California’s cannabis tax revenue is reportedly spent on several civic programs, including childcare for low income families, public safety grants, and cannabis research.

While the sums of state cannabis tax are dependent on sales and consumer appetite, many regions in California still don’t permit recreational retail at all.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, just 38 percent of Californian cities and counties allow for the sale of recreational cannabis. Out of the 534 jurisdictions included in the research, only 122 allowed storefront dispensaries and 81 allowed sales via delivery.


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