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Alaska Marijuana News

Here's how much Alaska made in taxes from the first few days of legal pot

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: December 1, 2016
  • Published December 1, 2016

Marijuana dries on racks at Greatland Ganja on Sept. 21. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Alaska's first-ever revenue from commercial marijuana taxes has hit the state treasury.

Four cannabis growers paid a total of $10,400 to the Alaska Department of Revenue's Tax Division for the month of October, said division director Ken Alper.

"This was the first delivery to the first couple of stores that happened to be open during the month of October," Alper said. "We're going to obviously see an upward trend."

Only a few stores opened in Alaska in October, and only for the final days of the month.

Herbal Outfitters in Valdez was the first store to open to the public, on Saturday, Oct. 29. In Fairbanks, Frozen Budz and Pakalolo Supply Co. followed soon after, with both stores opening on Oct. 31.

Herbal Outfitters sold marijuana from Greatland Ganja and Green Rush Gardens, two growers located on the Kenai Peninsula. Frozen Budz sold marijuana from Greatland Ganja and Subsistence Products, a Fairbanks cultivator. And Pakalolo sold marijuana from its own cultivation facility.

Under Alaska law, cultivators pay the state's tax. Bud is taxed at $50 per ounce, and other parts of the plant, like the stems and leaves, are taxed at $15 per ounce.

Most of the tax revenue came from taxed marijuana bud, with a small portion coming from other parts of the plant, although Alper wasn't sure the exact number. Roughly speaking, cultivators paid taxes on about 13 pounds of marijuana in those first days of legal sales.

State taxes are due at the end of the following month, so October taxes were due at the end of November. The first full month of taxes will be reported after Dec. 31, when November's taxes are due.

Two more stores — one in Juneau and another on the Kenai Peninsula — opened in November. The Juneau store, Rainforest Farms, also has its own cultivation facility. Red Run Cannabis, in Kenai, was selling Greatland Ganja-grown products when it opened just before Thanksgiving.

Half of the tax revenue will go to the state's general fund; the other half has been appropriated to programs aimed at reducing repeat criminal offenders.

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