Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas totaled $21.1 million in February, with sales based on tax revenue topping February 2021. Sales for the first two months of 2022 total $41.69 million and 7,389 pounds, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).
The DFA reported Tuesday (March 22) that tax revenue from the state’s 37 licensed marijuana dispensaries was $2.333 million in February, above the $2.309 million in February 2021. Taxes collected are 6.5% of regular state sales tax with each purchase by a patient, and a 4% privilege tax on sales from cultivators to dispensaries. Most of the tax revenue is placed in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences National Cancer Designation Trust Fund.
Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood posted the most February sales with 372 pounds, and The Releaf Center in Bentonville was second with 299 pounds. The Releaf Center was the top dispensary in 2021 with 4,012 pounds sold, and Natural Relief was second with 3,682 pounds.
The largest month for medical marijuana tax revenue was May 2021 at $3.28 million. The state has collected $62.525 million from the medical marijuana industry since mid-2019. Eligible patients have purchased approximately 80,000 pounds since the first dispensary opened in May 2019. The Arkansas Department of Health reports 82,410 active patient cards, down from 82,696 active patient cards in the January report.
“Sales really started to increase beginning March 2021 through early fall. We anticipate stimulus funding played a role. Although sales remain fairly strong today, we are not seeing the levels reached in spring and fall last year,” DFA Spokesman Scott Hardin told Talk Business & Politics.
Hardin also said the state’s 38th licensed dispensary, Good Day Farm in Van Buren, formerly known as 3J Investments, opened March 7.
“Patients now have 38 dispensaries from which to choose. The market is very competitive in central Arkansas with seven dispensaries within 30 minutes of Little Rock. As a region, northwest Arkansas leads the state with almost 800 pounds sold in February through the Fayetteville and Bentonville dispensaries,” Hardin said.
The constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for 17 qualifying conditions and creating a state medical marijuana commission, was approved by Arkansas voters 53% (585,030) to 47% (516,525) in November 2016.