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California’s Cannabis Tax Revenues Accelerate

August 27, 2019

California’s legal cannabis industry ramped up in the second quarter, with the state’s cannabis tax revenue rising 19% compared to the previous quarter. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration said second quarter tax revenues totaled $144.2 million, with a breakdown of $74.2 million from excise tax, $22.6 million from cultivation tax, and $47.4 million from sales tax.

The state figures don’t include local taxes imposed by municipalities. Revenue for the first quarter of the year was revised upward to $120.8 million. The uptick in revenue comes amid efforts by law enforcement to shut down unlicensed stores and otherwise crack down on the illicit market, which continues to eat into legal sales.

“California is shaping up to be the market we all knew it could be as enforcement measures have started to take a toll on the illegal market,” noted Cresco Labs CEO Charlie Bachtell in a recent earnings call. “2020 is going to be a big year for the state, which is already the largest regulated market in the world.”—Danny Sullivan

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