Table stakes in Nevada: profit. And in its first full year of operations, the State of Nevada was ready to play.
In just the month of July (2018), Nevada’s cannabis market contributed $7.9 Million to the State General Fund. A drop in the bucket, you say? It's almost double the state's haul from a year ago, and more than.
"The state recorded $7.9 million in tax revenue for July, up $4.2 million from the same time last year when recreational cannabis sales began. ... "While the total combined revenue from these taxes hit a new peak, this July is the third largest month for adult-use sales, which were just shy of $41 million. That amounts to $4.1 million in revenue from the retail tax for the month. The wholesale tax generated $3.8 million, which is its largest month of collections to date," Nevada Dept. of Taxation Executive Director Bill Anderson said in a statement.
"The combined taxes are projected to bring in $69.4 million over the course of this fiscal year, which runs through June 2019."
OK, so the State of Nevada collected just shy of $70 Million from the nascent cannabis industry... is that a big deal? First of all, that means more than half-a-billion-dollars on sales.
That's FORTY PERCENT ABOVE PROJECTIONS, Bro.
... about which the State Department of Taxation released a glowing press release:
"Revenues from the wholesale tax, along with application and licensing fees, go primarily to education in Nevada, via the state Distributive School Account. With the closing of the fiscal year, the Department of Taxation transferred a total of $27.5 million to that education account. All revenues from the Retail Marijuana Tax have been distributed to the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
That’s not taking into account payroll taxes, property taxes, annual income taxes, or the hospitality fees (and bar tabs) of the 20,000 people that just descended on Las Vegas last month at MJ BizCon.
And all of this revenue was accompanied by zero problems in the regulatory side.
Notes Director Anderson: “Nevada’s first year with a legal adult-use market has not only exceeded revenue expectations, but proven to be a largely successful one from a regulatory standpoint. We have not experienced any major hiccups or compliance issues, and our enforcement staff has worked diligently to make sure these businesses understand and comply with the laws and regulations that govern them."
So yes, $7 Million is a drop in the bucket… if the “bucket” is the true economic benefit of the cannabis industry in Nevada.