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Massachusetts on target for sizeable share of pot money

The state’s licensed stores generated $393.7 million in gross sales during the first full year of operations, according to the Cannabis Control Commission.

FILE - In this March 25, 2018 file photo, a convention visitor examines a marijuana sample at the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston.
–(Steven Senne / Associated Press/File

Massachusetts tax collectors are expecting to haul in between $93 million and $173 million in legal marijuana revenue this current budget year and could collect as much as $189 million in the next budget year, Revenue Commissioner Christopher Harding told lawmakers Wednesday.

After collecting $22 million in state tax revenue from marijuana sales in fiscal 2019 — which included the first eight months of legal sales — Harding said marijuana revenues in the current fiscal year are “fairly close to’’ the expected range, which has a midpoint of $132.5 million. For the budget year that will begin in July, Harding said, the state can expect to see between $102 million and $189 million in pot tax revenue.

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“We expect that revenues will continue to accelerate as retail outlets are licensed and open for business,’’ Harding told the Joint Ways and Means Committee at the annual consensus revenue hearing. “However, from a revenue perspective, the legal marijuana market is not yet fully developed, and uncertainty remains around the rate at which the market will grow and how prices will change over time, both of which will impact revenue patterns.’’

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