Oklahoma medical cannabis sales set a new record last month, topping $61.4 million, despite the national coronavirus pandemic, the Oklahoman reports. The total represents nearly $217 spent per licensed patient.
According to Oklahoma Tax Commission data outlined in the report, dispensaries remitted almost $9.8 million in state taxes last month, which includes traditional sales taxes and the 7 percent medical cannabis levy. In March, the state collected $7.8 million in cannabis taxes – the previous record.
The Tax Commission figures don’t include sales volume, so the higher tax collections could be influenced by higher retail prices, the report says. Bud Scott, executive director of the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association, told the Oklahoman that many dispensaries offered deals in April to boost sales amid the state’s stay-at-home order which expires today.
“With the stay-home order in place, and medical marijuana dispensaries being categorized as essential health services, Oklahoma patients were afforded the ability to take their medicine on a more regular basis and sample a broader range of available medicines.” – Scott to the Oklahoman
According to the report, medical cannabis tax collections in Oklahoma are already more than half of last year’s totals.
Earlier this month, Republican State Rep. Scott Fetgatter said he was considering introducing a broad cannabis legalization bill to help the state fill its budget shortfall – $220 million this year and $250 million next year. Fetgatter estimates that recreational cannabis sales could bring the state $100 million annually in tax revenues.
Illinois also reported strong sales during the state’s stay-at-home order, recording its second-highest total since legal sales began in the state in January.