Arizona Marijuana Sales: A $2.9B Revenue Boost
In Arizona, the cannabis industry has witnessed a remarkable revenue surge since the legalization of adult-use marijuana in January 2021. With total sales reaching an impressive $2.9 billion, the market dynamics have undergone significant changes between 2021 and 2022.
The Growth Trajectory
In 2021, medical marijuana sales dominated the market, contributing to 55% of the total revenue, amounting to approximately $760 million. However, the scenario shifted dramatically in 2022, with recreational cannabis sales skyrocketing to nearly 70%, generating over $950 million. On the other hand, medical sales dwindled to just above $500 million.
Monthly Sales Trends
The year 2022 concluded with the recreational market hitting its peak in December, recording approximately $86.6 million in sales, slightly surpassing November’s figures. In contrast, medical marijuana sales remained stagnant, with a minor decrease from $31.9 million in November to $31.1 million in December.
Continued Decline in Medical Sales
Medical sales have shown a consistent decline since April 2021, with only a few exceptions. Although sales touched $73.2 million in April 2021, surpassing the $50 million mark became a rarity. The last instance of medical marijuana sales crossing $50 million was witnessed in April 2022.
Recreational Market Resilience
Recreational sales have remained robust, attracting patients to the recreational market. Additionally, manufacturers have adapted by producing high-potency medical marijuana products tailored to the recreational sector. The recreational market started with a modest $40 million in February 2021, its first month of legal sales.
Tax Revenues and Distribution
In December, tax revenues collected amounted to nearly $23 million. The state imposes a 16% excise tax on recreational sales, along with the standard sales tax. Medical patients, on the other hand, pay around 6% in state sales tax. Local jurisdictions levy an additional 2% for all marijuana sales.
One-third of recreational taxes collected are allocated to community colleges and provisional community college districts. Public safety receives 31% of the revenue, benefiting police, fire departments, fire districts, and first responders. The Arizona Highway User Revenue Fund gets 25% while the remaining 10% is directed towards the justice reinvestment fund, which aims to provide public health services, counseling, job training, and other social services to communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana criminalization.
The Arizona Department of Health Services regularly reports on the medical marijuana program, providing insights into the industry’s progress. The number of cardholders has reduced to 155,682 by December 2022, compared to the 309,479 cardholders at the start of 2021. Despite the decline in medical sales, the cannabis market’s overall growth and revenue boost have brought significant economic benefits to the state.