It’s no surprise at all that adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts has boomed, but now there are numbers to support just how much it’s boomed since cannabis was first legalized in the state.
The industry has brought in more than $150 million in tax revenue, according to an announcement from the Commonwealth Dispensary Association this past Monday detailing the money brought in from taxes so far.
The public data comes from the Cannabis Control Commission, who has been compiling this information for public consumption. They report that the state has made more than $785 million total in cannabis sales since November 2018, when adult use cannabis first became legal in the state. The tax rate in the state is 6.25 percent, with a 10.75 excise tax and a 3 percent local tax in most areas. This high tax rate has yielded a fair amount of income for Massachusetts.
The industry was also reported to have brought in almost $30 million in taxes between Memorial Day when bans on non-essential businesses were lifted and August 4, when the data stopped being compiled. That’s nearly 20 percent of the total for the entire span of legalization, brought in during the lockdown, once cannabis businesses were allowed to reopen.
“This tax revenue milestone is a big moment for the Massachusetts cannabis business community because it shows not only the great demand for safe, regulated cannabis but also affirms the meaningful value this industry brings to cities and towns every single day,” said CDA President David Torrisi in an official statement.
“We know the hardship that COVID-19 has imposed on local and state budgets, and we are proud to help provide steady revenue streams that can hopefully reduce the need for difficult choices and maintain services,” Torrisi added in the statement. “Although this nascent industry is still being built up and representation continues to be a work in progress, we’re extremely encouraged that its benefit to Massachusetts has been immediate and can support the Commonwealth in this time of need.”
Cannabis Bringing In Cash
The state can thank the cannabis industry for these high revenue numbers, as well as the state’s House of Representatives, as they originally introduced legislation back in February of 2020 that boosted the state’s corporate tax minimum in order to improve transportation and bring in more revenue in general. This also applied to cannabis taxes, and made a difference in the money brought in since then.
In addition to bumping up cannabis taxes, the package, which eventually passed, also brought an increase in gas taxes and higher fees for Uber and Lyft, as well as an end to tax exemptions for car companies.
While some may complain about tax hikes, it’s definitely a bonus that the state has so much more tax revenue from their booming, recreational cannabis industry that has thrived since legalization in 2018. Hopefully, Massachusetts will now be able to improve many of their state programs with this newfound income and keep the cannabis industry booming for years to come.
#OverGrowandShare finds it humorous when an association of cronies in the licit market tout, out of context, how much food they brought to state and local governments.
Uncritically accepting the ‘industry’ hype, when reality is both the administration and legislators expected the 10.75% state excise tax in Fiscal Year 2020 (upon which the books closed June 30, 2020) to be $132.5 million.
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