Young marijuana plants grow indoors under lights at the Fireweed Factory in Juneau on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Young marijuana plants grow indoors under lights at the Fireweed Factory in Juneau on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska marijuana tax collections set another record

Alaska’s March marijuana tax revenue topped $1 million and set a new monthly record, according to figures released last week by the Alaska Department of Revenue.

The news keeps the young industry in line with the state’s official projections for growth.

According to the department’s tax division, Alaska collected $1.090 million in marijuana excise taxes during March. Official collection figures trail the tax payment deadline by one month. Figures for April will be available at the start of June.

The March figure was the most the state has ever collected from marijuana businesses in a single month, signaling that the industry has not yet reached its growth limits. The old record was $1.041 million in January.

In Alaska, state marijuana taxes are collected at the wholesale level, when bud and other plant parts are sold from farms to retailers. The tax, established by the same 2014 ballot measure that legalized the industry here, is $50 per ounce of bud and $15 per ounce of other plant parts.

The state’s flat tax is the only such tax in the country; all other states with legal marijuana levy a tax based on a percent of the retail or wholesale price. The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is considering whether to advise the Legislature to switch the state’s tax structure.

According to the Department of Revenue figures, marijuana farms sold 1,106 pounds of marijuana bud and 852 pounds of other plant parts in March. Both figures are up from February, when 880 pounds of bud and 806 pounds of other plant parts were sold.

The number of taxpaying marijuana farms continued to grow. In March, the state listed 92 taxpaying farms. That number has risen in every month since the state’s first retail sales in October 2016.

Fairbanks has the most taxpaying marijuana farms (20), with Anchorage second at 17. Juneau has four taxpaying farms.

The state expects to collect $4.6 million in marijuana taxes during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. In the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, the state expects to collect $9 million.

Municipalities across the state also collect local sales taxes on marijuana. Figures on those collections were not immediately available.


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


More in News

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Thursday, Jan. 21

The most recent state and local numbers.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses the public during a virtual town hall on Sept. 15, 2020 in Alaska. ( Courtesy Photo / Austin McDaniel, Office of the Governor)
Dunleavy pitches dividend change amid legislative splits

No clear direction has emerged from lawmakers.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom, right, wearing a bib with ExxonMobil lettering on it, congratulates Peter Kaiser on his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska. The world’s most famous sled dog race has lost another major sponsor as the Iditarod prepares for a scaled-back version of this year’s race because of the pandemic, officials said Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. ExxonMobil confirmed to The Associated Press that the oil giant will drop its sponsorship of the race. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)
ExxonMobil becomes latest sponsor to sever Iditarod ties

The world’s most famous sled dog race has lost another major sponsor.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient.	(THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/National Institutes of Health)
State reports 24 COVID-19 deaths

Only 1 of the deaths happened recently, according to the state.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, Jan. 20

The most recent state and local numbers.

Sarah Palmer talks to a driver before administering a COVID-19 test in December 2020. On Tuesday, the City and Borough of Juneau reported an uptick in cases identified over the weekend that included Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  However, the community's COVID risk level remains at the moderate level, which was set last week after months with the community risk level set at high. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
COVID-19 cases tick up over holiday weekend

Two CBJ employees among those testing positive

Marine veteran Marvin Kadake, right, of the Keex’ Kwaan Dancers (People of Kake) shakes hands with Ed Kunz during the Grand Entrance for Celebration 2018 along Willoughby Avenue on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The 2020 version of the every-other-year event had been tentatively scheduled for this summer, but those plans have been canceled, organizers announced. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Celebration 2021 canceled, organizers announce

It’s the second pandemic-related scheduling change for the event.

Most Read