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Alaska Marijuana News

Alaska has collected nearly $1 million in marijuana tax revenue so far, still short of projections

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published June 1, 2017

Alaska’s cannabis taxes have lagged behind state projections. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Marijuana taxes continued to climb in April but will still most likely fall short of Alaska's revenue projections for the fiscal year.

Twenty-nine cannabis growers paid $272,000 to the Department of Revenue's tax division in April, according to Kelly Mazzei, excise tax supervisor.

That's $50,000 more than in March.

Under Alaska law, growers 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.

A total of 269 pounds of marijuana and 237 pounds of trim were sold in April.

Ten growers were in Fairbanks, representing more than a third of all cultivation facilities statewide.

The rest were scattered throughout Southcentral and Southeast Alaska — from Anchorage to Homer to Juneau to Sitka — with one or two growers in each community.

All told, $964,900 has been collected from the first seven months of cannabis sales, from October to April, Mazzei wrote. The first store opened Oct. 29.

But revenue for this fiscal year will likely still fall short of the state's projections of $2 million by June 30, an estimate that had already been downgraded twice — from $12 million to $5 million, then to $2 million this spring.

Mazzei has pointed to regulatory hurdles and ongoing supply shortages in Alaska's cannabis industry as reasons for the lagging revenue.

About $300,000 in taxes is expected for May, according to Mazzei.

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