Northampton marijuana revenues drop in most recent quarter

  • Marijuana buds in glass jars on wooden background

Staff Writer
Published: 12/30/2019 11:32:43 PM
Modified: 12/30/2019 11:32:25 PM

NORTHAMPTON — For the first time, the quarterly recreational marijuana revenue that the city has received was not greater than the previous quarterly payment.

The excise tax revenue that was delivered to the city on Friday from the commonwealth totaled $444,972, and was equal to 3 percent of the recreational marijuana sales at New England Treatment Access in the months of August, September, and October. That’s less than the $535,085 received for the months of May, June and July.

“It doesn’t concern me,” said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, on the revenue dropoff.

A spokesperson for NETA attributed the revenue dropoff to Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaping ban, which went into effect in late September. Some recreational marijuana vaping products became legal to purchase again in December.

Narkewicz said that he’s been “trying to lower expectations,” since the recreational marijuana revenue stream started. And he said the effect of the state’s growing number of recreational marijuana establishments on the revenue for the Paradise City has been an open question.

For fiscal year 2020, $1.2 million of recreational marijuana revenue has been built into the city’s budget. So far, the first and second quarters of the fiscal year have given the city a total of $980,057, and the mayor expressed confidence that the city will meet the $1.2 million number.

The city’s community mpact payment from NETA was also less than its last one, at $509,817, which was equal to 3 percent of the recreational marijuana sales at the dispensary in July, August and September. This payment also represented a decrease from the previous quarter disbursement of $530,559, which was for April, May and June.

Community impact money can only be used to offset the impact of a recreational marijuana retailer on the community. All $808,234 in community impact money for fiscal year 2019 has been transferred to the city’s paving account, to offset the cost of paving and street improvements in the area of NETA.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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