In just its first year of adult-use cannabis sales, Arizona has sold more than $405 million worth of adult-use cannabis from January through October, according to state data, and more than $572 million in medical cannabis sales.
As a result, the state has reaped $106 million in tax revenue, which will be allocated for public safety initiatives as stated in the state’s legalization law, as reported in the Ganjapreneur.
“A large portion of every dollar the city gets goes to that public safety effort, which includes community safety programs and all those different things, not just law enforcement,” Jeffrey Yates, head of Tucson’s Business Services Department, said in an interview with KUGN.
In July, the state sold more than $54.3 million worth of cannabis products
(reaching its adult-use sales record), medical cannabis sales exceeded $71 million.
Pima County, the state’s second-largest after Maricopa County, expects approximately $1.8 million in taxes, $314,000 of that will go toward the Sheriff’s department budget and about $900,000 for road repair. Tucson expects about $9.7 million – less than 1% of the city budget.
Many question the wisdom of devoting so much money to the state’s troubled and beleaguered law enforcement departments.
The state’s attempts at equity and social justice have also fallen short of its goals. Maricopa County’s infamous former Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, continuously exhibited an intolerant, racist, and oppressive misuse of his authority.
Convicted of contempt of court but later pardoned by Donald Trump, Arpaio piled up lawsuits that cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to an Arizona Republic report in July, officials admitted that some tax data might be off. Some retailers had missed tax payments, and others paid off more than a month of taxes at once.
Cannabis sales and subsequent tax revenue will continue to increase in Arizona. Sales from cannabis are expected to exceed Colorado’s numbers.
The sales also demonstrate the early success of cannabis legalization in the state, where people can now purchase their favorite strains in tamper-evident packaging.