Marijuana tax providessome schools support | RecordCourier.com

Marijuana tax providessome schools support

A pop-up tent on Jan. 1 advertises that RISE Carson City can now serve adult cannabis customers.

Despite prohibiting marijuana businesses, Douglas County will experience the financial equivalent of a contact high.

Nevada brought in 83 percent of the projected marijuana tax revenue as of February.

From the tax collected, $25 million will be put into the distributive school fund, $26 million (so far) has gone into the state's rainy day fund, and $5 million will be dispersed to local governments.

The funds for the Distributive School Fund won't go into effect until the end of the fiscal year. The funding formula, called the "Nevada Plan," focuses on funds allocated to schools on a per student basis, as well as helping with class-size reduction, teachers' raises, health care, and replacing equipment such as transportation, computers and instructional equipment.

The funds also go toward special education. In Douglas County, the special education funding per student was about $4,200 in 2017.

However, as Douglas County had no underperforming elementary schools in the first quarter of 2017, the county probably won't see as much of an increase in funding to reduce class sizes compared with other schools in Clark County or Nye County.

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Taxable marijuana has already generated nearly $42 million in total tax revenue. February marked the highest month in sales, bringing in $6 million.

The total taxable combined sales of adult-use marijuana, medical marijuana, and marijuana-related goods has topped $336.43 million.

As of this month, the Nevada Department of Taxation has issued 316 licenses and registration certificates for dispensaries and establishments, which include everything from cultivation centers, to manufacturing, retail, distribution, and laboratories.

The wholesale marijuana tax rate is at 15 percent, which has helped cover the cost of the marijuana program itself, as well as $5 million each year going to local governments, and the remainder is distributed to education.

The estimated amount to be given to the Distributive School Account this year from the wholesale tax is around $25 million.

Nevada Department of Taxation Executive Director Bill Anderson has high hopes for the revenue.

"The overall revenue picture is strong and, if it continues the path it is currently on, we can expect to see end-of-year revenue totals that substantially exceed expectations," Anderson said.

The Department of Taxation's cost for the program is $4.1 million, said Public Information Officer Stephanie Klapstein.