Marijuana excise taxes outpace alcohol in Massachusetts

Published Jan 25, 2022 10:00 a.m. ET
Cannabis.Wiki / The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Excise taxes for marijuana sold for adult recreational use exceeded alcohol excise taxes for the first time in Massachusetts, reflecting growing marijuana sales that reached $2.54 billion, according to the Cannabis Control Commission.

Massachusetts collected $74.2 million in marijuana excise tax through December 2021 — halfway through the fiscal year — compared to $51.3 million in alcohol excise taxes, WCVB−TV reported.

The excise tax of 10.75% on recreational cannabis is part of the total tax revenue. There is also a 6.25% state sales tax, plus a local tax of up to 3%. It all added up to $208 million in total tax revenue last fiscal year.

The transition from medical to recreational use typically leads to a doubling or even tripling of revenues “almost overnight,” according to Vivien Azer, a senior Wall Street research analyst and managing director at Cowen who covers the emerging cannabis sector.

Azer said the pandemic increased cannabis sales with people on lockdown and having more disposable income, but she said consumption trends have now started to normalize.

The Associated Press

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