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Nevada marijuana sales dip, but exceed November projections

Nevada marijuana sales continue to soar well above the state’s projections, with dispensaries selling $33.4 million in marijuana and the state bringing in more than $5.5 million in taxes in November.

Sales dipped from October’s massive $38 million in sales, according to data released Monday by the Nevada Department on Taxation. But November’s totals were $11 million more than the state projected for the month.

The 10 percent retail excise tax brought in over $3.3 million for the month, down from $3.8 million in October. In the first five months of marijuana sales in Nevada, which started in July, that excise tax has brought in nearly $16 million. All of that revenue goes into the state’s rainy day fund.

State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said he is disappointed November sales couldn’t top October’s totals, but pointed to the month-over-month increase in the wholesale tax on cultivation as a sign of continued growth for the industry.

The 15 percent wholesale tax on cultivators generated $2.2 million in November compared to $2 million in October. That wholesale tax first pays for the regulatory costs of marijuana, and the remaining revenue goes into the state’s education budget.

“That’s growth,” said Segerblom, one of the driving forces behind marijuana legalization in Nevada. “That tells me there’s more product being produced, which can ultimately lead to more sales.”

That tax has generated more than $8.6 million since recreational sales kicked off July 1, and the state forecasts it will bring in over $56 million in revenue over the first two years of recreational sales.

The wholesale tax generated more than $974,000 in tax revenue in July, the first month Nevada dispensaries sold recreational marijuana. The monthly average wholesale tax revenue Nevada drew in between July 2016 and June 2017, before recreational sales began, was $309,514.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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