Legal marijuana generates over $255 million in tax revenue for Arizona

It's 4/20 -- and as many get ready to toke up, we're taking a look at how much tax revenue has been generated by weed.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 8:58 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Recreation use of Marijuana has been legal for nearly three years, and the Arizona Department of Revenue reports its tax revenue has skyrocketed.

Since the passing of Proposition 207, which added excise tax on Adult-use cannabis purchases, $74,386,954 were collected from both medical and recreation sales However, throughout 2022, the plant’s sales saw a nearly $200,000,000 bump with total tax revenue of $255,997,918.

The numbers, clearly show traction when it comes to buying marijuana, the Arizona Dispensary Association Executive Director, Ann Torrez, says the revenue is dispersed to several Arizona agencies.

“The Phoenix Police Department since February 2021, received $12 million. Fire Department received $7 million. I mean, that’s a substantial amount of additional funding for those who protect the community and our environment in so many ways,” Torrez said, “Maricopa Community College received $48 million dollars since 2021. Through the excise tax that’s provided with cannabis purchases.”

On top of the tax revenue allocated across the state, local dispensaries have seen a major boost since the drug was legalized recreationally.

According to Sol Flower Wellness Center in Tempe, they’ve seen a 30% increase in transactions and customers. Being one of over 140 dispensaries across the state, the Director of Retail Operations at Copperstate Farms credits the boost to cannabis being more widely accepted.

“We see firemen, we see teachers, police officers that come into the facilities, asking questions. Just being cannabis curious,” Dan Hayden of Copperstate Farms said, “recently we talked with poison control and different agencies within the state, so I think socially it is being accepted but it is also required that people start accepting it as well.”

The dispensary is one of over 169 licenses issued in Arizona. To sell cannabis, you can get medical, rural, dual-use, and single-use licenses.

Along with a wider variety of customers, diversity in product sales, and being more socially accepted, both the dispensary and the state Dispensary Association anticipate more dispensaries opening up in the near future.