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Nevada Hits Jackpot With Legal Marijuana


Nevada's big bet on recreational marijuana is paying off, with the first month of legal sales of recreational marijuana generating $3.68 million in tax revenue for the state. First legal sales of recreational marijuana began in Nevada on July 1.

Dispensaries in Nevada sold $27.1 million of recreational marijuana in the month of July. This is almost double of the sales of about $14 million each in Colorado and Oregon during their respective first months. Washington sold $3.8 million in its first month.

According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, which is tasked with regulating the fledgling industry, marijuana sales generated a total of $10.2 million in revenue for the state in July. Of this, $3.68 million came from tax revenue, while $6.5 million came from marijuana license and application fees.

The total tax revenue, which includes revenue from both both medical and adult-use marijuana, is from two different taxes.

The 15 percent wholesale tax, which is paid by both medical and adult-use (recreational) cultivators, brought in revenues of $974,060 for Nevada in July. It is projected to generate revenues of $56.2 million over the next two years.

The revenue from this tax will go to Nevada schools through the distributive school account, after administrative costs for the Department and local governments.

The 10 percent retail tax, which is applied to sales of adult-use marijuana to consumers, generated revenues of $2.71 million in July for Nevada and is expected to generate $63.5 million over the next two years. This revenue will go to the state's rainy day fund.

In addition to the above tax revenue, the Department reported that license and application fees paid by businesses that are obtaining licenses to operate adult-use marijuana establishments have generated $6.5 million in state revenue, to date.

The Department of Taxation received a total of 333 applications for adult-marijuana establishment licenses and has issued 250 licenses. The application fee for the licenses is $5,000, while the license fees range from $10,000 to $30,000.

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