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Cannabis industry reports more than $1 billion in taxable sales in Nevada: So what about schools?

Posted at 5:25 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 16:31:08-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Cannabis dispensaries are making big bucks in Nevada.

The Nevada Department of Taxation and the Cannabis Compliance Board released figures on Wednesday showing $1,003,467,665 of taxable sales for the industry over a 12-month period.

RELATED: Las Vegas cannabis industry reflects on a record year of financial growth

The breakdown of sales reported by county is:

  • Clark County: $791,100,017
  • Washoe County: $135,326,790
  • All other counties: $77,040,859

The amounts above are for the fiscal year of 2021 which took place from July 20, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

The total is an increase of more than $318 million from 2020.

What does this mean for schools?

A common question 13 Action News receives whenever cannabis sales make headlines is, "What about our schools?"

It's a good question because school funding is complicated in Nevada, and it's something the 13 Investigates team has previously spent time sorting out. Originally, only taxes from wholesale cannabis sales were going towards education in the state.

RELATED: Marijuana tax money for schools: Where is it going?

In 2019, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 545, directing all revenue from the 10% retail cannabis tax towards education, too.

“This is what Nevadans expected since the legalization of recreational marijuana,” said Gov. Sisolak in a press release.

“Education remains one of my top priorities, and I’m proud to see promised tax revenue from cannabis sales directly funding our students and classrooms.”

The money from these cannabis wholesale and retail taxes goes into the state's Distributive School Account, or DSA for short, which is like a big pot of soup. Multiple sources of education funding make up the ingredients. That soup is then ladled out to all of Nevada's school districts in every county.


Of the more than $1 billion in cannabis sales reported for the most recent fiscal year, more than $67 million was transferred to the DSA from the wholesale tax along with civil penalties, licensing and other fees collected through regulation of the cannabis industry.

Another $92 million was transferred from the retail tax.

That's $159 million in cannabis tax-related funds to the DSA for education in the state.