California Nets $134.9M From 1st-Quarter Cannabis Taxes

California cannabis taxes generated nearly $135 million during the first quarter of 2020, which is $42.4 million less than the state’s 2019 first-quarter cannabis tax revenue.

Full story after the jump.

Total cannabis-derived tax revenues in California reached $134.9 million over the first quarter of the year, including $68.3 million in excise taxes, $50.2 million from sales taxes, and $16.4 million in cultivation taxes, the state Department of Tax Fee and Administration announced yesterday.

The agency notes that the reporting period is “unique” due to the state’s coronavirus pandemic response which led to only about half of normally reporting taxpayers filing a quarterly return. Officials said they expect the data to be adjusted once late filers send in their outstanding returns.

During the coronavirus pandemic, California has considered both medical and recreational cannabis businesses “essential” but did provide a grace period for quarterly business tax filings amid the crisis.

The first quarter 2020 revenues are $42.4 million less than the fourth quarter of 2019, when the state reported $177.3 million in cannabis-derived tax revenues – $85.9 million from excise taxes, $67.3 million from sales taxes, and $24.1 million in cultivation taxes.

Since January 2018, total program revenue to date is $1.17 billion, which includes $569.8 million in cannabis excise taxes, $140.2 million in cultivation taxes, and $456.9 million in sales taxes.

Last month, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development disbursed $30 million in grant funding through the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions which is funded by cannabis taxes. The agency indicated that at least $30 million from the fund would be directly allocated to social equity applicants and licensees in the form of low and no-interest loans.

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