Arizona Department of Health Services: Data Tells the Story of Arizona’s Cannabis Industry

by John Hartsell | Weedia, Inc. | Facebook

Today’s cannabis industry in Arizona has achieved a level which is requiring state officials to seriously address its impact on the State’s culture and economy. Now, with more than $300 million in claimed commerce and over 4,500 employees, medical marijuana rivals some of the Arizona’s largest small business economic drivers.

Economy of Cannabis:

In December, 2016, Arizona’s dispensaries were responsible for distributing more than 6,000 pounds of medical marijuana. At a retail rate of $7.00 per gram the total commerce relative to retail distribution of cannabis material produced is more than $225 million. At the state’s rate of 5.6%, the industry delivered approximately $15 million in sales tax revenue to the bottom line of Arizona.

Considering that there are nearly 3,400 Dispensary Agents in Arizona, who likely earn an average of $26,000 annually who are employed by Arizona dispensaries, we can also assume their contribution to Arizona’s economy is significant. According to the same statistics, these Arizonans are spending an average of $12,000 each year on sales taxable items. Their economic activity yields an additional $2.25 million to the bottom line.

Now, according to a study implemented by Leafly, Arizona’s cannabis industry has created 4,681 full-time jobs. Extrapolating the math to include those who serve the industry in ancillary services is important to understand the total economic impact on Arizona. Given that these data are not readily available, the Weedia, Inc. team is simply adding 1,900 full-time employees to the Dispensary Agents list above. Using the same math, these taxpayers are delivering approximately $1.25 million to Arizona’s bottom line.

There are quite a few direct fees which the Arizona Department of Health Services collects directly such as Patient Certification, Dispensary Agent, and Caregiver fees. The Department collected approximately $18 million in 2016 (this does not include new dispensary application fees).

While this analysis is not comprehensive, it begins to demonstrate a picture in which the cannabis industry is a productive member of Arizona’s economy. Some simple addition brings us up to about $35 million in annual revenues to the State of Arizona. This does not include other state fees, income taxes and business taxes. Lastly, these numbers do not include local economic impacts relative to local sales and property taxes.

The team at Weedia will continue to follow the trail of money flowing from the new, legal cannabis industry. As the industry continues to grow and gain ground on innovation and efficiency, look for cannabis to continue as one of Arizona’s shining small business opportunities.

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