Arkansas publishes $21.1 million in medical cannabis sales revenue for February


Medical cannabis sales in Arkansas kicked off in June 2019 and have been steadily growing ever since. 

Based on recently published state data, revenue amounted to $21.1 million in February. 

Considering the tax revenue earned through sales, too, the latest figures surpass those published in February 2021. 

For the first two months of the year, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) recorded total revenue of $41.69 million and 7,389 pounds of medical cannabis sold across the state.

Arkansas’ constitutional amendment legalized the plant for medicinal purposes for people who are diagnosed with one or more of the 17 listed qualifying conditions.

The law, which established a state medical cannabis commission, was approved by 585,030 Arkansas voters (53 percent) in November 2016. The 47 percent of “no” votes came from 516,525 people.

How do Arkansas’ medical cannabis taxes benefit the local community? 

On Tuesday, March 22, the DFA reported that Arkansas’ 37 licensed cannabis dispensaries had contributed to $2.333 million in cannabis tax revenue for February. Contrastingly, this is more than the $2.309 million that was generated in February 2021. 

Taxes generated through Arkansas’ medical cannabis industry are 6.5 percent of regular state sales tax with each patient purchase, in addition to a four prevent privilege tax on sales between growers and dispensaries. 

Since the middle of 2019, Arkansas has collected $62.525 million worth of taxes from the medical cannabis industry. 

The most monumental month for medical cannabis tax revenue was May of last year, when the industry generated $3.28 million. 

The vast majority of cannabis tax revenue is earmarked for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences National Cancer Designation Trust Fund.

What were the top-selling cannabis dispensaries in Arkansas?

Since Arkansas opened its first dispensary in May 2019, patients who are deemed eligible to receive medical cannabis have purchased approximately 80,000 pounds of the green stuff.

Sherwood-based Natural Relief Dispensary appeared to sell the most cannabis in February at 372 pounds. Trailing just behind The Releaf Center in Bentonville with 299 pounds.

Last year, The Releaf Center took the top spot after budtenders managed to shift 4,012 pounds of weed, followed by Natural Relief with 3,682 pounds.

“Sales really started to increase beginning March 2021 through early fall. We anticipate stimulus funding played a role. Although sales remain fairly strong today, we are not seeing the levels reached in spring and fall last year,” said DFA Spokesman Scott Hardin during a discussion with reporters at Talk Business & Politics.

“Patients now have 38 dispensaries from which to choose. The market is very competitive in central Arkansas with seven dispensaries within 30 minutes of Little Rock. As a region, northwest Arkansas leads the state with almost 800 pounds sold in February through the Fayetteville and Bentonville dispensaries,” Hardin added.

Interestingly, the Arkansas Department of Health notes that there are 82,410 active patient cards, which is less than the 82,696 active patient cards outlined in the January report.