May 27, 2022

NM collects $2.4 million in cannabis taxes for first month of sales

Bill Moree

A worker prepares for the midnight sale of legal recreational-use cannabis in Las Cruces.

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department announced on Friday that it has collected more than $2.4 million in cannabis excise taxes for April, which was the first month of adult-use sales in the state. 

The Cannabis Regulation Act, which was approved by the New Mexico Legislature and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last year, mandates that a 12 percent cannabis excise tax be applied to all adult-use cannabis sales. That 12 percent rate is slated to increase over the next several years. 

Adult-use cannabis sales are also subject to a state gross receipts tax which is seven to eight percent, depending on the county.  The Taxation and Revenue Department reported collecting more than $1.6 million in gross receipts taxes from adult-use cannabis sales.  

Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke said in a statement on Friday that the tax revenue so far signals a boost in state revenue. 

“The adult use cannabis industry in New Mexico clearly has gotten off to a strong start,” Schardin Clarke said. “These receipts show the industry is already diversifying our economy and our tax base.”

Adult-use cannabis retail stores paid $2,422,678 in Cannabis Excise Tax from the first month of recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico this April. 

According to the department, 114 businesses filed tax returns and 158 businesses have registered for cannabis tax accounts, but not all of them started sales by April. 

Earlier this month, Schardin Clarke told NM Political Report that the department expects to collect about $31.5 million in cannabis taxes this year. 

Both cannabis excise and gross receipts taxes were due earlier this week, but some businesses said they were caught off guard by the department’s take on how both the cannabis excise and gross receipts taxes are applied to their total sales.     

The Cannabis Regualtion Act also exempts medical cannabis sales from any taxes. 

Adult-use cannabis businesses are required to file their cannabis excise and gross receipts taxes monthly. Taxes on May sales will be due at the end of June.