California Cannabis Revenues

California state officials revealed data showing that recreational cannabis tax revenues for the most recent fiscal year set a new all-time record. During the fiscal year, which ran from July 2020 through June 2021, sales from adult-use marijuana at dispensaries located throughout the state generated more than $800 million in tax revenues. The incredible success of the California recreational marijuana market bodes well for the future of the cannabis industry not just on the West Coast, but across the United States.

To learn more about California’s promising cannabis economy, keep reading this blog.

California Cannabis Market Generating Record Revenues

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which is tasked with providing fiscal advice to the California Legislature, recently released a report showing that adult-use marijuana tax revenues for the 2020-2021 fiscal year totaled approximately $817 million. This represented a whopping 55% year-over-year increase when compared to the previous fiscal year. Moreover, the combined excise and cultivation tax revenue collected from cannabis operators during the fiscal year’s 4th quarter, which ended in June, exceeded $210 million. This was the single-largest quarter in the history of California’s legal cannabis market. Beyond that, these numbers, which are merely estimates, could rise when the official sales figures are tallied by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

The booming cannabis market in California is representative of the strong sales in other states where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use. Remarkably, the retail cannabis market in California and other states has thrived despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on just about every other aspect of the economy. While many retail businesses were forced to shutter their doors and lay off workers due to struggling sales numbers, the cannabis industry saw a rise in sales revenues as more and more consumers looked for ways to relax during the pandemic.

How Does California Collect Taxes from Retail Marijuana Sales?

The California LAO report accounts for two types of taxes on adult-use marijuana:

  1. A cultivation tax on cannabis that is grown and cultivated to be sold on the retail market later.
  2. An excise tax on retail cannabis sold at state-licensed dispensaries.

One type of cannabis tax that is missing from this data is sales taxes that are collected at the point of sale. Additionally, depending on the municipality, certain California cities and towns also collect additional taxes from retail dispensaries.

Importantly, several California municipalities are expected to issue marijuana business licenses over the next few years. For example, Red Bluff, Chico, Redwood City, Fresno, and Costa Mesa have pending retail licenses in late 2021 and early 2022. Additionally, West Sacramento, San Jose, Visalia, San Bernardino, and Long Beach are likely to issue retail marijuana licenses in 2023.

Contact Scythian Real Estate for Information on Cannabis Operator Financing

Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund with properties throughout the United States. If you are a cannabis operator looking to expand your operations into California or anywhere else where cannabis is legal, Scythian can help. Send us an email today.


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