Nevada collects $69.8 million in marijuana taxes, surpassing expected revenue

Marijuana plants are shown in an undated image. (FOX5)

Nevada surpassed its anticipated earnings from marijuana taxes in the first fiscal year since recreational sales began.

The Nevada Department of Taxation collected $69.8 million in marijuana taxes in June, which is 140 percent more than what the state expected to bring in, according to a release.

The department said 64 state-licensed dispensaries and retail stores, 61 of which are licensed to sell recreational marijuana, sold $529.9 million worth of taxable products during the fiscal year.

Recreational marijuana sales totaled $424.9 million, generating $42.5 million in tax collections through the 10 percent retail marijuana tax, a release said. The department collected an additional $27.3 million from the 10 percent wholesale marijuana tax.

The department transferred $27.5 million to the Distributive School Account for Nevada schools which was revenue collected from wholesale taxes, application and licensing fees.

All revenues from the Retail Marijuana Tax have been distributed to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, a release said.

The department said the first year of collected taxes exceeded their expectations and proved to be successful without any major compliance issues.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom (D), who helped lead the push to legalize recreational marijuana, said he's proud of the success the industry in Nevada has been having.

"People think of Colorado as the gold mine so to speak. We are way beyond what Colorado did the first year. Washington state is a another state, we're way above them, we're going to beat California in California's first year so it's pretty amazing" he said.

The state Department of Taxation predicted similar tax revenue for year two.

Segerblom said the state's marijuana industry has room to grow, but he believes the key will be passing laws to allow consumption in public places like pot lounges in order to attract more tourists.

"It probably won't grow as fast until we get this public use issue but the fact is when you talk to people we really haven't attacked the tourist market, it's really more locals so if we can get that 50 million people that are coming here every year than watch out," he said.

A spokesperson for the City of Las Vegas said the city council could consider a bill to allow pot lounges as early as Oct.

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