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Arizona Medical Marijuana Sales Hit a New Record High in May

Arizonans coping with the pandemic are buying more medical marijuana than ever before, with sales hitting a monthly program record again in May.

The latest report on the state-run weed program shows that dispensaries sold more than 18,083 pounds of total cannabis products last month. That's an increase of 5.8 percent over the previous record from March, when patients bought 17,095 pounds as the coronavirus pandemic set off a buying spree. May's total sales also represent a blistering 31.3 percent increase over sales in May 2019.

After the March record, sales took a dip in April to 16,531 total pounds. But the new numbers show that cannabis sales are remaining strong in the stay-at-home culture.

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A breakdown of the stats show that May sales included 16,270 pounds of flower, 456 pounds of edibles (that's the cannabis inside the edibles, not the food or drink it's infused in), and 1,356 pounds of "other," which means concentrates like vape-cartridge juice and shatter.

The number of patients also took a big jump in May to its high total ever of 245,533. That's about 10,000 more patients than in April, a significant increase considering that the patient ranks increased by only about 5,000 from March to April. It's also about 23 percent higher than the May 2019 patient count. At this pace, it's seems safe to predict that the milestone of a quarter-million Arizona medical marijuana patients will probably be hit sometime this month.

 

Richard said the medical program probably brings in about $4 million to $4.5 million per month in sales tax to the state, based on a tax rate of 5.6 percent and an average of $275 an ounce. If voters approve the legalization measure, cannabis sales would double or triple from today's numbers, he predicted.

Under the measure, the state would collect its normal sales tax, plus an excise tax of 16 percent.

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