As legal MatSu marijuana blossomed tax revenue grew too

first_imgRevenue from legal marijuana sales in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has steadily grown since the first pot shops opened there in March. And so, too, has the associated tax revenue flowing into borough coffers.Listen nowAccording to the borough’s latest marijuana tax figures, the new industry has hauled in a total of more than $3.3 million in revenue through the end of September. That has generated about $151,000 in taxes for the borough.So far, that’s a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of dollars the borough generates in tax revenue annually. But Mat-Su Developmental Services Manager Alex Strawn, who oversees permitting and enforcement for marijuana cultivators and retailers, said the money is welcome.“Yeah, surely, I don’t think that we’re relying on this to fund the borough, but certainly any little bit that we can get is good,” Strawn said.The borough’s accounting shows dollars from marijuana sales nearly tripled from the second quarter of 2017 to the third quarter. It’s unclear if that growth rate will continue, because, as Strawn said, the borough started with no legal marijuana sales, so the rapid increase is almost entirely due to the first few pot stores opening up over that time period.“There’s just a lot of unknowns here,” Strawn said. “We really did not know what to expect. We have not had a really good idea of how much money is going to be generated in taxes, so we’re kind of just seeing how this all unfolds.”Strawn said state regulators set clear guidelines, and added that he appreciates their diligence in learning from other states’ mistakes.Still, Strawn said there is some uncertainty among marijuana business owners in terms of what actions might be taken in the future by the federal government, which still considers marijuana illegal. What enforcement measures may come under the Trump administration, if any, remain to be seen.last_img

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