Arkansas medical marijuana revenue up almost 10% in the first two months of 2023

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,317 views 

Arkansas medical marijuana revenue in the first two months of 2023 totaled $45.5 million, up 9.6% compared with the same period in 2022, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

Licensed patients spent the $45.5 million in January and February to purchase 8,832 pounds of medical marijuana. A total of $23.1 million was spent in January and $22.4 million in February.

Natural Relief Dispensary (Sherwood) sold the largest amount over this two month period at 884 pounds. Suite 443 (Hot Springs) followed with 856 pounds, CROP in Jonesboro was third at 539.6 pounds, The Releaf Center in Bentonville was fourth with 496.04 pounds, and Purspirit Cannabis in Fayetteville rounded out the top five with 446.85 pounds.

“Sales for the first two months of 2023 increased by $4 million over the same period in 2022,”  said DFA spokesperson Scott Hardin. “Additionally, state tax collection on medical marijuana totaled $5.3 million for January and February. Overall, $94.7 million in state tax revenue has been collected since the industry launched in mid-2019.”

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 92,337 active patient cards as of March 10, up from the 89,855 cards at the end of 2022.

Sales in the first two months follow record medical marijuana revenue in 2022 of $276.3 million, up 4.3% compared with the previous record of $264.9 million in 2021. For the year, 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.

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.

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.