Record Inaugural Year for Fully Legal Adult-Use Marijuana in Arizona

Arizona Dispensaries Association

Legalized recreational marijuana sales, which began on January 22, 2021 in Ariz., had an impressive first year. The Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA) celebrates this monumental moment as the state’s Department of Revenue announced the total gross cannabis sales has reached more than $1.2 billion, surpassing legislative projections even before December’s final numbers are reported.

“This is a momentous day for Arizona,” said ADA Executive Director Samuel Richard. “Rarely does an industry produce over $1.2 billion dollars in revenue in its first year. This number shows that the legalization of cannabis is something Arizonans believe strongly in and the many benefits it contributes to the state’s economy.”

Beyond the economic benefits of the thousands of jobs generated, the tax revenue generated by the legalization of recreational cannabis sales has exceeded $190 million dollars even before December’s sales numbers are finalized. Of that tax revenue:

  • More than $7.3M is the Education Sales Tax which goes towards funding the failing schools tutoring program, workforce development, and even the classroom site fund for teacher compensation
  • More than $92.9M is the Marijuana Excise Tax which goes towards funding community colleges, county health departments, and more

“As an Arizona cannabis dispensary owner, I am proud that the tax revenue generated will benefit our communities—including our teachers and mental health access” said ADA President Ryan Hermansky, Owner/Operator of Noble Herb in Flagstaff, Arizona. “I know my fellow ADA members and I look forward to continuing to do good work for our communities in 2022.”

Arizona’s first year of fully legal adult-use cannabis revenue surpassed the first year of adult-use cannabis sales in Colorado (nearly $292M), Oregon (nearly $354M), Washington (more than $185M), and Nevada (nearly $425M).

The Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA) is the professional association of cannabis dispensary owners in the state, representing more than 90% of dispensary license holders. Through political advocacy, public education and professionalization, we help grow cannabis for good, creating a better and safer future for everyone. The ADA’s goal is to elevate cannabis to a higher standard for everyone by offering services to ensure success for local businesspeople who own dispensaries, which benefits the people they employ and work to create a high-quality, stress-free cannabis experience for all Arizonans from start to finish. The cannabis industry creates jobs and its tax revenue benefits communities by funding community colleges, improving infrastructure, fortifying public health and safety programs, and more.

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