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Growing like a weed: Oklahoma's medical marijuana taxes this year already nearly 1.5 times the amount in all of 2019

Growing like a weed: Oklahoma's medical marijuana taxes this year already nearly 1.5 times the amount in all of 2019

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Medical marijuana tax revenue in 2020 already is about 1.5 times the amount collected in 2019, according to statistics from the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Collections of excise taxes from Oklahoma medical marijuana sales in August showed a nominal increase in revenue from the amount in July, but tax revenue so far this year already far surpasses what the state received in 2019.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority on Thursday released a tax revenue report indicating that total state and local tax collections from January through July — as well as collections of the 7% excise tax outlined in State Question 788 — exceeded $80 million. The amount is already nearly 1.5 times the amount taken in on cannabis sales last year.

A Tax Commission spokeswoman has previously said the agency interpreted the 7% tax in SQ 788 as a gross receipts, or excise, tax and advised businesses to collect it along with the 4.5% state sales tax and any state or local sales tax. The amount of that tax collected in August alone is about $5.75 million, or 5% more than the amount received in excise taxes in July, according to the Tax Commission.

So far in 2020, more than $45 million in tax proceeds from medical marijuana sales have gone to state and local entities, the Tax Commission said Wednesday. It said those entities include the OMMA for operating costs, the state’s general revenue fund, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation fund.

Meanwhile, the OMMA reported Tuesday that its total number of active medical marijuana patient licensees exceeded 350,000 for the first time, a roughly 6% boost from the number of patients on record in July. The number is nearly 9% of Oklahoma’s population.

There were 5,971 licensed growers, 2,087 dispensaries and 1,328 processors in the state as of Tuesday, the OMMA said.

OpenGov’s database reports that the OMMA took in about $2.4 million in patient license application fees and almost $4.1 million in commercial license application fees in August.

Medical marijuana sales have been legal in Oklahoma since Oct. 26, 2018, and the first patient licenses — valid for up to two years — were issued in August 2018.


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Samantha Vicent

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samantha.vicent@tulsaworld.com

On Twitter @samanthavicent

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