Weed Sales Outpace Alcohol for First Time in Massachusetts

High Times

Cannabis tax revenue in Massachusetts is performing better than projected, over four years into the state’s adult-use market. According to the most recently available data, Massachusetts reported collecting $74.2 million in marijuana excise taxes—much more than the $51.3 million in alcohol excise taxes that were collected.  Alcohol sales continue the downward trend that began two decades ago, according to data collected by Gallup polling, despite a temporary sharp uptick in alcohol sales amid COVID. Analysts have wondered if there is a correlation between cannabis reform and alcohol sales. The trends seen in Massachusetts are no different. Fortune reports that alcohol excise taxes imposed on each gallon of alcohol produced also remained flat over the last five years, at $0.55 per gallon of wine, and $4.05 per gallon of hard alcohol.  Massachusetts collected over $112 million in adult-use cannabis sales excise tax revenue in 2021—206 percent higher than projected—according to a Monthly Public Meeting presentation from data from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.  “This number also underscores the entire agency’s tireless efforts, particularly those of our hardworking staff, to thoughtfully regulate a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use marketplace that keeps critical tenets of our mission—public health, public safety, and equity, among others—front of mind,” Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins said in a statement on January 25.  The state charges an excise tax of 10.75 percent on the projected retail price of recreational cannabis in addition to a 6.25 percent state sales tax, plus a local tax of up to three percent.  Cannabis sales are doing much better than anticipated, despite all of the hiccups along the way such as COVID. But analysts say the surge in cannabis sales in Massachusetts comes at no surprise. Vivien Azer, a Wall Street research analyst and managing director at Cowen who covers the emerging cannabis…

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Source : Weed Sales Outpace Alcohol for First Time in Massachusetts

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