The demand for medical marijuana is not abating. Arkansas’ medical marijuana sales in the first nine months of 2023 totaled $211.3 million, up 3.1% compared with the same period in 2022, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).
With average monthly sales of $23.5 million, sales are on track to top the 2022 record of $276.3 million. According to Thursday’s (Oct. 26) DFA report, August sales totaled $23.3 million and September sales were $23.2 million. The state has collected $23.47 million in tax revenue from medical marijuana in 2023. More than $113 million in tax revenue has been collected since 2019.
“Overall, patients have spent more than $965 million on medical marijuana purchases since the industry launched in May 2019,” said DFA spokesperson Scott Hardin. “This included $31 million in 2019, $182 million in 2020, $265 million in 2021, $276 million in 2022 and $211 million through September this year.”
According to the DFA report, Suite 443 in Hot Springs had the most sales with 528 pounds. Following are the top five dispensaries for pounds sold in September.
• Suite 443 (Hot Springs): 528.61 pounds
• Natural Relief Dispensary (Sherwood): 487.81 pounds
• High Bank Cannabis (Pine Bluff): 289.87 pounds
• The Releaf Center (Bentonville): 268.4 pounds
• CROP (Jonesboro): 267.96 pounds
The Arkansas Department of Health reports 96,056 active patient cards, up from 89,855 at the end of 2022.
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.