The State of Alaska collected greater than $11 million dollars in marijuana tax revenues from cultivators in the 2018 fiscal yr, officers stated Wednesday. The quantity exceeded predictions from the Alaska Department of Revenue by almost $2 million.
The numbers reported Wednesday are for the fiscal yr that ended June 30. The figures solely embrace taxes from hashish cultivators and never income collected from retail shops and different marijuana companies.
Tax Revenues Exceed Predictions
The state collected greater than $1.2 million in the month of June alone, probably the most ever. And officers consider the revenues collected in July, the primary month of fiscal 2019, can be even greater.
Kelly Mazzei, an excise tax supervisor with the Department of Revenue, stated that taxes on the state’s hashish business have continued to development upward.
“We absolutely are exceeding our predictions and additionally we are seeing a very steady increase in tax revenue collection each month,” Mazzei stated.
Mazzei additionally stated that because the authorized marijuana market grows it’s troublesome for the division to estimate future income.
“I don’t believe the market has saturated and we haven’t seen exactly what capacity the state is going to operate in as far as cultivation and retail stores and the other facilities,” stated Mazzei. “So we could continue to collect an unknown amount of money in taxes.”
Tax Money Invested In Crime Reduction and Drug Programs
Half of the tax cash collected from the hashish business is earmarked for the state’s new Recidivism Reduction Fund. Money from the fund is then allotted to a number of totally different packages aimed toward decreasing the variety of ex-offenders that return to crime.
Beneficiaries of the fund embrace the substance abuse remedy program and group residential facilities for the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety’s council on home violence and sexual assault.
And earlier this week, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed into regulation Senate Bill 104. That measure designates one other 25 % of hashish tax income to associated social packages.
“It also deals with some of the funding on the tax on the marijuana revenue,” Walker stated concerning the new regulation. “Twenty-five percent of that will go into education program associated with awareness of marijuana, those kinds of things,” he defined.
All remaining hashish tax cash will go to the state’s common fund.
New Tax Rates Coming?
The Department of Revenue is contemplating a change to the system underneath which hashish cultivation taxes are assessed. Currently, all hashish flower produced is taxed at a price of $50 per ounce. The the rest of the plant, together with leaves and stems, is taxed $15 per ounce when bought.
Under a proposal now being reviewed, a 3rd tax price can be added for irregular and immature buds. This decrease high quality flower can be assessed a tax of $25 per ounce.
“We understand now with feedback that there is some lower quality bud, maybe some that’s failed a test result for mold so it could go to a product manufacturer, but it won’t go to a retail store. So, therefore, we don’t believe cultivators should be paying $50 an ounce if they’re not getting that price at market,” stated Mazzei.
The division is accepting public feedback on the proposed change till August 10.