Arkansas medical marijuana sales up 4.3% in 2022

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,171 views 

Arkansas medical marijuana sales set a new record in 2022 with $276.3 million in revenue, up 4.3% compared with the previous record of $264.9 million in 2021, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

Hot Springs was the hot spot for sales, with a combined 6,258.77 pounds sold in the city by two dispensaries (Suite 443 and Green Springs Medical) in 2022. The 38 licensed dispensaries in the state sold 50,547 pounds in 2022, up 25.2% compared with 40,347 pounds sold in 2021.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 89,855 active patient cards at the end of 2022, well ahead of 79,476 active cards at the end of 2021.

“Overall, more than $753 million has been spent to purchase 123,650 pounds of medical marijuana since 2019,” DFA spokesman Scott Hardin said in a statement. “State tax revenue from medical marijuana totaled $32 million in 2022. This included $16.3 million from the state’s 6.5% sales tax along with $15.7 million from the 4.0% privilege tax. Both of these taxes apply to all patient purchases. However, only the 4.0% privilege tax applies when a cultivator sells product to a dispensary.”

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 state also collects a cultivator privilege tax, which means tax revenue is not always tied to how much product is bought by consumers at dispensaries and the price for the product sold to dispensary customers.

Following are the top five dispensaries for products sold in 2022, with 2021 pounds noted in parenthesis.
• Natural Relief Dispensary (Sherwood): 5,029.77 pounds (3,682 pounds)
• Suite 443 (Hot Springs): 3,724.69 pounds (2,899 pounds)
• The Releaf Center (Bentonville): 3,670.75 pounds (4,012 pounds)
• CROP (Jonesboro): 3,317.43 pounds (582 pounds)
• Green Springs Medical (Hot Springs): 2,534.08 pounds (1,924 pounds)

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.