MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 18

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS State by State
Arizona
Marijuana sales in Arizona surpassed the $1 billion mark for 2023 in September, despite some
month-over-month sales declines earlier in the year.
From January to September of last year, total medical cannabis sales were $267 million and
adult-use sales were $797 million, according to nonprofit news organization AZ Mirror.
Data from the state's Department of Revenue showed that MMJ sales gradually declined
in 2023, an expected outcome after the January 2021 launch of recreational marijuana sales.
Since that launch, Arizona operators have sold more than $4 billion worth of cannabis
products.
Arizona's adult-use cannabis sales also declined month-over-month in spring 2023. In May,
adult-use sales decreased to $82.9 million, down from $90.1 million in April.
Several cannabis operators have reduced their presence in Arizona or exited it entirely in the
past year.
Arkansas
Cannabis advocates are going back to the drawing board after the state's attorney general
rejected the most recent proposed language for a ballot initiative that would increase access
to medical marijuana and trigger adult-use legalization if federal reform occurs.
State Attorney General Tim Griffin decided that the ballot's title, Arkansas Medical Cannabis
Amendment of 2024, wasn't formatted properly and was too ambiguous.
The measure, which is backed by the medical marijuana industry, would have:
* Expanded who can approve medical cannabis cards and allowed providers to assess
patients through telemedicine.
* Allowed MMJ authorization for any condition, not just the state's existing 18 qualifying
conditions.
* Permitted adult-use sales if the federal government legalizes it.
* Permitted home cultivation of marijuana.
Arkansans for Patient Access, the advocacy group that wrote the proposed language, plans
to resubmit new language for consideration.
Ballot language must be approved before petitioners can gather the 90,704 required signatures
in support of the initiative. The signature submission deadline is July 5.
California
If regulated California cannabis businesses teetering under the weight of heavy taxes see any
relief this year, it's unlikely to come from the governor.
In the past, Gov. Gavin Newsom has cut taxes for marijuana operators in the state, signing a
2022 budget that eliminated California's cultivation tax and capped the excise tax at 15% for
three years.
This year, Newsom is tasked with closing a $38 billion budget deficit. And, to do that, he is
banking on revenue from marijuana taxes, which is projected to exceed $1 billion for the 2023
calendar year once final figures are released.
In his initial $291 billion budget proposal for 2024-25, the governor did not propose any
further reductions in cannabis taxes or fees. However, he did redirect $100 million worth of
cannabis tax money away from county jails and juvenile detention halls and toward general
state costs.
Newsom's proposed 2024-25 budget includes " a budgetary loan of $100 million from the
Board of State and Community Corrections' Cannabis Tax Fund subaccount to the General
Fund, " according to a budget summary.
18 March-April 2024 | MJBizMagazine

MJBiz - March/April 2024

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