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Nevada pot industry pulls in record tax sales

The marijuana industry set a record in monthly tax payments to the state.

Combined taxes on wholesale and recreational marijuana sales generated $8.1 million in August, beating out July’s monthly record of $7.9 million.

For August, the industry saw $42.3 million worth of taxable recreational marijuana sales, according to a statement from the state Department of Taxation — almost a 30 percent increase year over year.

Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association industry group, said the numbers are a stark reminder that the taxes the state now collects funded a black market before legalization.

“We must remain cautious and vigilant to avoid the instability that has occurred in other states in order to protect this revenue stream for Nevada,” Durrett said. “Increasing taxes or allowing an oversupply of flower could create instability. In addition, allowing for unlicensed online retail sales like California could have major ramifications to the industry.”

While taxable recreational sales resulted in $4.2 million in taxes, the 10 percent wholesale tax paid by cultivators brought in $3.9 million in taxes.

Dispensaries and stores reported sales of $48.8 million for marijuana sold for recreational or medical purposes, plus related goods.

Nevada has received $2.9 million in marijuana-related fees, penalties and assessments this fiscal year.

The state projects $69.4 million in tax revenue from marijuana for fiscal year 2019 and $370 million in taxable retail sales. However, those projections do not factor in the actual sales from the previous fiscal year.

During the industry’s first full year of sales, Nevada dispensaries sold nearly $425 million worth of recreational marijuana and pulled in $69.8 million in tax revenue.

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