Medical marijuana sales up 7.1% in the first quarter

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 1,020 views 

Medical marijuana sales in Arkansas during the first quarter of the year totaled $70.5 million, up 7.14% compared with sales in the same quarter of 2022, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

There were 13,804 pounds sold in the first quarter, up 19.5% compared with the 11,555 pounds sold in the same period of 2022. Patients spent a record $24.992 million in March to purchase 4,972 pounds of medical marijuana, according to the DFA report.

The Arkansas Department of Health reports 93,977 active patient cards as of April 21, up from 89,855 at the end of 2022.

“With $25 million in purchases, March was the largest month for sales since the industry launched in mid-2019,” said DFA spokesperson Scott Hardin. “State tax collection on medical marijuana totaled $2.48 million in March, bringing the overall total to $97.2 million.”

Following are the top five dispensaries in terms of pounds sold in March
• Natural Relief Dispensary (Sherwood): 520.01 pounds
• Suite 443 (Hot Springs): 504.32 pounds
• CROP (Jonesboro): 280.34 pounds
• The Relief Center (Bentonville): 260.04 pounds
• Purspirit Cannabis (Fayetteville): 247.18 pounds

First quarter sales 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.