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Nevada Marijuana Tax Collections Far Exceeding Projections

Collections of taxes on Nevada marijuana sales have far exceeded expectations since Nevada made non-medical use legal, generating nearly $23 million over the first seven months instead if the $13 million that was expected, leading to calls to push more money into the state’s schools.

The state had projected sales taxes on adult use marijuana, which began July 1 of last year, to generate $62 million over the first two years of sales.

Now, revenue forecasters say the state is likely to eventually collect about $76 million over that two year period.

That money could go far toward helping the school district that includes Las Vegas make up a $60 million budget deficit, two Nevada politicians said this week.

“Lets take that money and give it to schools,” said state Sen. Ted Segerblom, according to a story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Segerblom, one of the leading advocates for legalizing marijuana in Nevada, was joined at a press conference this week by an initial skeptic, Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, who said the state needs to be more fair with how it distributes the proceeds from the tax. So far, she said, most of the money has gone into Nevada’s rainy day fund, which she called a “dark cellar,” where the money seems to disappear.

READ More on the Nevada marijuana industry

Segerblom said that with the industry generating more revenue than expected, money should be pulled out of the rainy day fund and called on Gov. Brian Sandoval to call lawmakers into a special session to make the budgeting shift.

The governor’s office told the newspaper, however, that Sandoval thinks the discussion of what to do with the extra tax income can wait until the next regular session of the legislature, which won’t occur until 2019.

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