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State accrues $12.2M in cannabis tax revenue

Updated: Jan 2

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CUMBERLAND — The state of Maryland took in $12.2 million in tax revenue for the first fiscal quarter of cannabis sales since recreational marijuana usage was legalized by the legislature beginning July 1.

Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman recently announced the tax figures — representing July, August and September — showing tax revenue of $12.2 million based on 9% of roughly $135 million in total sales. Since the state, by law, will distribute a portion of the tax to Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore city, Allegany County could potentially receive up to $200,000 in revenue.

“Transparency is crucial to earning and maintaining the public trust,” Lierman said in a news release. “We look forward to sharing information with the public every quarter, tracking the growth of the adult-use cannabis industry in Maryland and positioning our state for a more prosperous future.”

“The strong revenues collected in the first quarter reflect the strength of the rollout of Maryland’s newly formed adult recreational cannabis industry,” said Gov. Wes Moore in a statement. “These funds are critical to supporting social equity and economic growth, which are central to the Moore-Miller Administration’s values, and we’ll continue to work in partnership to promote inclusion, accountability, and fairness across Maryland’s cannabis industry.”

Maryland law taxes adult-use cannabis products at a rate of 9%.

Sales revenue from Maryland’s central region accounted for 45% of the total tax accrued.

Divided by region, the state collected $5.5 million from product sold in the central part of the state; $3 million from counties contiguous with Washington D.C.; $1.6 million from the four Western Maryland counties; $1.3 million from the Eastern Shore; and $786,600 from Southern Maryland.

William Valois is the CEO of Grow West MD, which includes a cultivation center and dispensary in Cumberland.

“As the adult use market in Maryland continues to expand, Grow West is enthusiastic about increasing its involvement in the community where we live, work and grow,” said Valois. “The latest data from the Comptroller’s Office reveals that Grow West remains committed to investing in Western Maryland.”

Valois said continued growth and expansion in the industry allowed Grow West to reach a significant milestone recently when the company hired its 200th employee.

“Many of our employees have established families, purchased homes and vehicles and are actively contributing to the community,” said Valois. “Grow West has played a role in retaining individuals who might have otherwise left the area, and they are now firmly establishing roots in the community.”

The tax revenue will be distributed in early 2024 to several funds as required by the Cannabis Reform Act of 2023, according to Lierman.

The Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund will receive 35%, or $4.25 million, for community-based initiatives serving areas disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition prior to July 1, 2022. Funds will be distributed to each county based on percentages formulated by the Office of Social Equity.

Maryland counties will receive 5% ($608,000) of the total to be distributed based on the percentage of revenue collected from each county. Counties will then distribute 50% of the funds to municipalities with cannabis dispensaries that contribute to sales and use tax revenue.

The state Cannabis Public Health Fund will receive 5%, or $608,000, to address the health effects associated with the legalization of adult-use cannabis.

The Cannabis Business Assistance Fund will receive 5% to assist small, minority–owned and women–owned businesses entering the adult–use cannabis industry.

The remainder of the quarterly revenues, after required disbursements estimated at 50%, will be allocated to Maryland’s General Fund.


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