Arkansas medical marijuana sales up 5.2% through June

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 674 views 

Arkansas medical marijuana patients have spent $141 million on purchases in the first half of 2023, up 5.2% compared with $134 million in the same period of 2022, according to figures from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

There were 29,057 pounds purchased in the first six months of 2023, up 26% compared with the same period in 2022. Medical marijuana purchases generated $16 million in tax revenue in the first six months of 2023. Since the first dispensary opened in mid-2019, $105 million in state tax revenue has been collected, according to DFA data.

“Since the first dispensary opened for business in 2019, approximately $900 million has been spent on medical marijuana purchases in Arkansas,” DFA Spokesperson Scott Hardin said in a statement. “With a sales average of $23.5 million monthly, we should surpass $1 billion in overall sales toward the end of this year. Patients are spending an average of $785,000 a day at the state’s 38 dispensaries.”

The Arkansas Department of Health reports 94,373 active patient cards, up from 89,855 at the end of 2022.

Suite 443 (Hot Springs) and Natural Relief Dispensary (Sherwood) sold the largest amount over the last six months. Suite 443 led with 3,020 pounds and Natural Relief followed with 2,825 pounds.

The state posted 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.