Maryland Comptroller updates cannabis tax report after finding clerical error

Maryland Matters

The Office of the Comptroller has updated its quarterly report on cannabis taxes after identifying a clerical error in its data.

Last week, Comptroller Brooke Lierman released the third report on quarterly recreational tax collections. The report included tax collections for five regions of the state for the first three months of the year.

A clerical error transposed collections for two areas — the Capital and Central regions — making it appear as if there were sharp and unexplained fluctuations in collections, even as recreational cannabis sales tax collections grew by just 0.7%.

At the time, neither the comptroller’s office nor the Maryland Cannabis Administration could immediately explain the regional changes.

Officials at the Maryland Cannabis Administration on Monday noted that their tracking showed no unusual changes in sales. On Tuesday, a comptroller’s office spokesperson said staff reviewed the report at the request of Maryland Matters and found the error and updated the quarterly report, which is published on the agency website.

The revised numbers show that over the last two quarters of 2023, the Central Region, with its 47 licensed retail shops, remitted the most sales taxes to the comptroller’s office. The Capital Region and its 28 retail shops was second during that period. The report released last month by the comptroller’s office had flip-flopped data for the two regions.

Maryland imposes a 9% tax on retail sales of recreational cannabis. The update does not alter the overall tax revenue of $14.7 million collected from January to March 2024.

Comptroller updates cannabis tax report after finding clerical error

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