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Alaska Marijuana News

Alaska marijuana tax revenue jumps to over $500,000 in June

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: August 1, 2017
  • Published August 1, 2017

Forty cannabis growers paid taxes to the state of Alaska in June. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

The marijuana industry brought $512,500 in state tax revenue in June, the most in a single month so far, according to the Alaska Department of Revenue.

"This is really incredible," wrote Kelly Mazzei, excise tax supervisor for the tax division. "We knew it would happen; we just didn't know when."

Forty growers paid taxes to the state in June. Fairbanks, with 10 cultivators, still had the most cannabis growers of all Alaska communities. In Anchorage, five growers paid taxes. The rest were scattered around Southcentral and Southeast Alaska.

The first marijuana sales started in late October. Since then, revenue has climbed slowly, but dipped in January and February as supply slumped. In May, the state brought in $272,100 in tax revenue from cannabis.

Total state revenue projections for the fiscal year ending June 30 were slashed twice, eventually downgraded to $2 million.

Now, with June's marijuana revenue numbers in, total revenue for the fiscal year has landed at $1,748,500.

Mazzei said July's numbers would likely be close to or exceed $500,000.

"We also anticipate much larger quantities being sold or transferred by outdoor cultivators as those crops are harvested," Mazzei said.

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.

Some 547 pounds of bud and 313 pounds of trim were sold in June, according to Mazzei.

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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