California state officials have announced that the state’s tax revenue from its legal marijuana market did not meet expectations in the second quarter.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration released figures for the period April through June 2018 this past Wednesday, revealing that the state’s excise tax on cannabis generated nearly $43.5 million in revenue during the period.
The cultivation tax generated almost $4.5 million, and the sales tax generated more than $26 million in revenue. Sales tax is not collected on sales to medicinal cannabis patients who hold a valid medical marijuana identification card.
Despite these figures being an increase over the last quarter, officials are expecting the total revenue from cultivation and excise taxes for the first six months of the year to be $185 million. But the actual total of $82 million represents a deficit of more than $100 million from state estimates.
State Assemblyman Evan Low told the Associated Press, “After six months of legal cannabis sales, there is a staggering … gap between today’s tax revenue numbers and what voters were promised.”
Low has cited that competition from unlicensed cannabis businesses is responsible for the shortage and is calling for a change in state regulations.