Arizona dispensaries said they sold $120M in marijuana in March, but here’s why that number is off

AZ Central reports

Arizona marijuana dispensaries reported selling nearly $120 million worth of products in March, though officials at the Arizona Department of Revenue say the initial tax data are not yet reliable.

The total sales and tax collections are jumbled because some dispensaries are paying multiple months at once while others haven’t properly reported sales, according to the state.That means some dispensaries included more than just March in their March report, while others have yet to report anything for the year.

Because of these inconsistencies, it is unclear how much cannabis the state is selling on a month-to-month basis.

Recreational sales kicked off in late January in Arizona after the passage of Proposition 207 in November. The 124 operating medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are all now licensed to sell marijuana, edible candies and sodas, and concentrates like vape pens to anyone over 21.

The Department of Revenue has been tracking the recreational sales, which use business code “420,” a popular cultural reference to marijuana, to report those sales to the state.


Why numbers likely are off the mark

But because the marijuana sales are new business categories, the Department of Revenue says some of the vendors are still learning how to properly report and pay their taxes.

So the nearly $120 million in March sales (with taxes paid in April) actually include some payments left over from January and February, according to the department.

“Similar to other new tax classifications that the state has implemented, businesses are learning their tax obligations, setting up their systems, and learning how to file and pay,” the Department of Revenue said in a statement. “Our Customer Care and Outreach teams work closely with marijuana dispensaries and establishments to provide workshops, assistance in registration, and walk them through the process to comply.”

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