Alaska Marijuana News

After a long rise, Alaska marijuana revenue dipped in November

Sixty-seven marijuana growers sold more than 800 pounds of cannabis wholesale on Alaska's legal market in November, less than the month before.

A total of $872,197 in state revenue was collected in November, according to data from Kelly Mazzei, excise tax supervisor at the Alaska Department of Revenue tax division. In October, nearly a million dollars was brought in by the state's excise cannabis tax.

"It really is hard to say why the decline," Mazzei wrote in an email. "It looks like we had a few cultivators that normally pay more in taxes not pay nearly as much. So, this could be a growing cycle issue and not necessarily market saturation."

Since Alaska began collecting marijuana taxes in October 2016, the state has collected $5.5 million.

Under Alaska's law, growers pay the tax of $50 an ounce for bud and $15 an ounce for other parts of the plant, like leaves and stems.

In November, 857 pounds of marijuana bud and 777 pounds of trim were sold to Alaska's marijuana shops.

The growers were scattered across Southeast, Southcentral and Interior Alaska. Twelve were in Anchorage. Fairbanks growers – 17 in November – comprised nearly a fourth of all cultivators statewide.


[Is the marijuana industry actually making money for Alaska?]

The state's first marijuana shops opened in late October 2016. During the first full year of sales, cannabis generated $4,694,645 in state taxes.

Many local governments have also put additional cannabis sales taxes in place.

Last year, the Alaska Legislature budgeted half of the cannabis tax to programs aimed at reducing repeat criminal offenders. The other half goes into the general fund.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.