Green Elephant Gardens gardener Scott Jones cares for a marijuana plant on Green Elephant’s first day of operation in June 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire file)

Green Elephant Gardens gardener Scott Jones cares for a marijuana plant on Green Elephant’s first day of operation in June 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire file)

Two years on, Alaska’s marijuana industry keeps growing

New figures show 115 taxpaying farms; largest number yet

Alaska’s marijuana industry is continuing to grow, new tax figures from the Alaska Department of Revenue show.

Two years after the opening of the state’s first retail marijuana store, 119 taxpayers remitted $1.5 million to the state of Alaska in September, the department said in its monthly update.

The state’s first sales of recreational marijuana to the general public were on Oct. 29, 2016 in Valdez. (A Fairbanks store had a soft opening the night before.)

Each month since October 2016, the state has reported more taxpayers than the month before, even if tax collections rise and fall.

In Alaska, taxes are paid at the wholesale level, as cannabis moves from grower to retailer or manufacturer. Bud or flower is taxed at $50 per ounce, malformed buds are taxed at $25 per ounce, and other plant parts are taxed at $15 per ounce.

September collections were down about $60,000 from August, the state reported, but continue an upward trend. January was the first month to report more than $1 million in taxes remitted to the state; every month since March has been above $1 million.

Kelly Mazzei, the state’s excise tax director, said by email that October collections, when finalized at the start of December, could reach $1.8 million, setting a new record.

To date, marijuana growers have paid $17.2 million in taxes, the state report indicates.

In September, 1,529 pounds of bud were transferred from growers and 1,077 pounds of trim were sold.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


More in Home

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé goalkeeper Alex Mallott stops a shot by Ketchikan’s Joe Larson (9) during the Crimson Bears 4-2 win May 17 over the Kings during the regional tournament at Adair-Kennedy Field. JDHS defeated Ketchikan again in state semifinals to advance to the state title game. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)
Both JDHS soccer teams are playing for the state title on Saturday

Boys to defend crown in rematch against Soldotna, followed by top-seeded girls against Kenai Central

Juneau high school seniors Edward Hu of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé (left), Elizabeth Djajalie of Thunder Mountain High School (center) and Kenyon Jordan of Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School. (Photos of Hu and Jordan by Juneau Empire staff, photo of Djajalie by Victor Djajalie)
Senior Spotlight 2024: Three top students take very different paths to graduation stage

Ceremonies for Juneau’s three high schools take place Sunday.

The entrance road to Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Bartlett Regional Hospital looking at eliminating or trimming six ‘non-core’ programs to stabilize finances

Rainforest Recovery Center, autism therapy, crisis stabilization, hospice among programs targeted.

(Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire file photo)
Both JDHS soccer teams advance to state semifinals after decisive wins

Top-seeded girls stay undefeated with 5-0 win against Palmer, second-seeded boys top Homer 3-1.

Mayor Beth Weldon (left), Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale and Juneau Assembly member Paul Kelly discussion proposals for next year’s mill rate during an Assembly Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Assembly members support lower 10.04 mill rate ahead of final vote on next year’s CBJ budget

Initial proposal called for raising current rate of 10.16 mills to 10.32 mills.

A king salmon. (Ryan Hagerty/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Biden administration advances bid to list Gulf of Alaska king salmon as endangered or threatened

Experts say request could restrict activity affecting river habitats such as road, home construction

Dave Scanlan, general manager of Eaglecrest Ski Area, speaks to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on April 13, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Dave Scanlan forced out as Eaglecrest’s general manager, says decision ‘came as a complete shock to me’

Resort’s leader for past 7 years says board seeking a “more office-process, paper-oriented” manager.

The entrance to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.’s Anchorage office is seen on Aug. 11, 2023. The state-owned AGDC is pushing for a massive project that would ship natural gas south from the North Slope, liquefy it and send it on tankers from Cook Inlet to Asian markets. The AGDC proposal is among many that have been raised since the 1970s to try commercialize the North Slope’s stranded natural gas. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Eight young Alaskans sue to block proposed trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline

Plaintiffs cite climate change that harms their access to fish, wildlife and natural resources.

Most Read