California rakes in over $60 million from cannabis in first quarter

Not including local tax revenues at the city or county levels, the State of California brought in $60.9 million since January


SACRAMENTO – The City of Woodlake may have been on to something when they took an aggressive stance on allowing commercial cannabis. Two weeks ago the Valley’s first ever commercial cannabis shop, Valley Pure, opened on Valencia Boulevard. Manager Wes Hardin claims the industry will be well into the billions within five years, and if California’s first quarter of collecting commercial cannabis taxes is any indicator, governments have a lot to gain.

As of last week the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) released revenue numbers for cannabis sales in the first quarter of 2018. Tax revenue from the cannabis industry totaled $60.9 million since Jan. 1, 2018, which includes state cultivation, excise and sales taxes. It does not include local tax revenue collected by cities or counties.

In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Beginning on January 1, 2018, two new cannabis taxes went into effect: a cultivation tax on all harvested cannabis that enters the commercial market and a 15 percent excise tax on the purchase of cannabis and cannabis products. In addition, cannabis and cannabis products are subject to state and local sales tax at the time of retail sale.

California’s excise tax on cannabis generated $32 million in revenue for the first quarter of calendar year 2018.  The cultivation tax generated $1.6 million, and the sales tax generated $27.3 million in revenue. Medicinal cannabis is exempt from sales tax if the purchaser holds a valid Medical Marijuana Identification card.

To learn more, visit the Tax Guide for Cannabis Businesses on the CDTFA web site. 

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