Medical cannabis sales in Arkansas have totaled $2.2 million since the first dispensary opened in the state on May 10, according to Department of Finance and Administration figures outlined by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The state has so far registered 15,743 medical cannabis patients and caregivers and licensed five dispensaries.
The sales are higher than Ohio’s first two months, which, according to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, were just shy of $2 million. Ohio has a significantly larger population than Arkansas.
Doralee Chandler, director of Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, called the sales “some of the strongest in the industry.”
“They have remained consistent with the addition of each dispensary. Based on this pattern, we do not anticipate any decrease in sales for existing dispensaries as new ones open across the state and begin to service the needs of qualifying patients in remaining regions.” – Chandler, to the Democrat-Gazette
The state is set to license another 27 dispensaries – bringing the total to 32 – and five cultivators. Medical cannabis sales are subject to the regular 6.5 percent state sales tax and another 4 percent privilege tax. Since May, the state has collected $47,289 in sales taxes and $55,396 from the privilege tax, according to Finance Department figures.
Dragan Vicentic, owner of Green Springs Medical Dispensary in Hot Springs, told the Democrat-Gazette that the average price-per-gram is about $15 – higher than most other state-legal programs and what can be found in the state’s illicit market – but he expects prices to drop 25 percent to 40 percent once all five cultivation facilities are operational.
Arkansas officials anticipate 40,000 total patients, which would generate $2.5 million in annual sales tax revenues.