Arkansas medical marijuana sales post slight decline in March report

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 1,006 views 

Arkansas medical marijuana sales totaled $24.1 million in March, down 0.73% based on sales tax revenue. The state’s 38 licensed dispensaries sold 4,166 pounds in March, according to figures from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

The state’s medical marijuana sales for the first three months total $65.82 million for 11,555 pounds. Natural Relief Dispensary in Sherwood had the largest month with 419 pounds sold, and the The Releaf Center in Bentonville was second with 329 pounds.

“With the opening of Good Day Farm Van Buren in March, we now have all of the state’s 38 licensed dispensaries in operation. Sales increased significantly in March as patients spent $3 million more versus February,” noted DFA spokesman Scott Hardin. “Additionally, the overall weight sold in March increased 500 pounds month to month. If sales patterns for 2022 remain consistent with 2021, sales will remain strong throughout Spring and Summer. We should surpass 100,000 overall pounds sold since the industry launched later this year.”

State tax collection on medical marijuana totaled $2.463 million in March, which is up 2,300% in the past 33 months from the first tax report in June 2019. Tax revenue since the first dispensary opened in May 2019 is $65 million, according to DFA. Licensed patients have purchased approximately 84,000 pounds since the first dispensary opened in May 2019. The Arkansas Department of Health reports 81,901 active patient cards.

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.

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.

BDSA, a cannabis consulting firm based in Louisville, Colo., estimates legal U.S. sales of marijuana will top $28 billion in 2022, up 20% compared with 2021 sales. The top five states for marijuana sales are, in order of sales, California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Michigan. BDSA also estimates global sales will top $35 billion, up 22% compared with 2021.