State sees another record month for marijuana sales

Dale Denwalt The Oklahoman
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry continues to break sales records.

Dispensaries remitted nearly $5.1 million via the state’s 7% tax on cannabis, meaning customers spent approximately $73.8 million on medical marijuana in April, according to data released by state tax officials..

It is the fourth month in a row sales increased compared with the previous month, a trend that highlights a growing demand for the product more than a year after dispensaries first opened their doors.

The sharp rise in sales also coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many people to work from home and prepare for other retail shortages. Tax collections in March spiked more than 25%, while April figures rose another 19.4% compared with the previous month.

April data was released Monday by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Along with the 7% tax on marijuana, dispensaries also collect state and local sales taxes. Those collections in April topped $6.5 million, bringing total tax revenue for that month to $11.67 million.

As the Oklahoma Legislature finished their annual session in May, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voted overwhelmingly to amend Oklahoma’s medical marijuana laws. Gov. Kevin Stitt, however, vetoed the bill.

Had it become law, the industry may have seen more customers and more sales. Among the dozens of changes proposed with House Bill 3228, dispensaries would have been allowed to deliver cannabis orders to patients’ homes. The bill would have also created a 90-day temporary license for out-of-state visitors who want to buy product.

In his veto message, Stitt called the proposal “a lengthy bill” with changes that weren’t fully scrutinized through the normal legislative procedures.

“While there is much room for improvement in the way our state’s program operates, this bill does not address those items in a way I can support,” Stitt wrote.

Lawmakers did not vote to override his veto.