Alaska Marijuana News

Alaska sees another month of climbing marijuana tax revenue

Alaska's marijuana taxes continued to climb in July as the state collected more than $1 million for the fifth month in a row.

In July, the state collected $1.37 million in marijuana taxes, according to data from Kelly Mazzei, excise group supervisor with the Alaska Department of Revenue's Tax Division.

That's about $111,000 more than June and a total of 1,378 pounds of bud sold wholesale in July, and 1,110 pounds of trim (the stems and leaves of the plant).

A total of 107 growers paid taxes to the state in July. The state taxes marijuana at $50 per ounce of bud, and $15 for the leaves and stem of the plant.

Twenty-three of those growers were in Fairbank; eighteen were in Anchorage; fifteen were in Wasilla. The rest were scattered across Southeast, Southcentral, and Interior Alaska — except one, in Nome.

Since Alaska started collecting marijuana taxes, the state has collected $14.2 million, according to Mazzei. Of that, $10.8 million has been paid in cash, as most banks won't give cannabis businesses bank accounts.

[Cash buried in the backyard: A side effect of banks' complicated relationship with Alaska pot businesses]

The tax money is split between different programs: Half goes to recidivism reduction programs within the Alaska Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, and Department of Health and Social Services; beginning in mid-October, one quarter of the money will go to a newly-created marijuana education fund within the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; the remaining quarter goes into the state's general fund.

In other cannabis news, Alaska's Marijuana Control Board is taking public comment on its draft rules for onsite consumption at marijuana stores. (You can read the proposed rules here.)

The board also fined Alaska Hempfest for allowing people to smoke cannabis during the festival.

And, the board voted to allow a shuttered Anchorage marijuana shop to reopen after confusion swirled about the process by which the board made its decision.