The numbers are in and Arizona’s first year with an adult-use market officially shattered expectations in 2021, raking in more than $1.4 billion in sales and more than $215 million in tax revenue for the state.
Arizona’s first year of adult-use cannabis revenue surpassed the first year of sales in Colorado (about $292 million), Oregon (almost $354 million), Washington (more than $185 million) and Nevada (nearly $425 million).
“Even though we celebrated the one-year anniversary this past January, we had to wait until today to see the official first-year numbers,” Samuel Richard, executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, said in a February press release. “It was worth the wait to see just how big of an investment our industry has been able to make in our communities.”
Arizona has a 16% tax on the sale of recreational cannabis products. Legislative projections for the first year predicted $166 million in tax revenue. The $215 million collected in taxes will go to administrative costs and then to the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund to be broken down as follows:
– 33.0% to community colleges;
– 31.4% to local law enforcement and fire departments;
– 25.4% to the state and local transportation programs;
– 10.0% to public health and criminal justice programs; and
– 0.2% to the attorney general for enforcement.
Regular sales taxes also apply and are available for general use.
According to a press release from the ADA, of the $215 million collected in tax revenue, more than $8 million is the Education Sales Tax, which goes toward funding the failing schools tutoring program, workforce development and even the classroom site fund for teacher compensation, and more than $104 million is the Marijuana Excise Tax, which goes toward funding community colleges, county health departments and more.