San Diego Reaps More than Quarter of Million in Taxes in 1st Month of Pot Legalization

San Diego cashed in $358,348 in tax money in the first month after legalizing recreational marijuana, KPBS said, citing early figures on Monday.

San Diego, a city on the Pacific coast of California, has a population of about 1.3 million. California became the largest U.S. state that legalized marijuana on Jan. 1.

In San Diego, local marijuana businesses are required to pay the 5 percent gross receipts tax every month, and the first due date to pay the tax was Feb. 28, KPBS said.

A city spokeswoman said $358,348 was for retail transactions in the month of January.

KPBS said it is not clear if the figure included the money received from the handful of marijuana businesses that have been granted temporary state licenses, or if unlicensed businesses had come forward to pay the tax.

The city finance officials expect the revenue to grow to $5.5 million in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Businesses are also required to pay 15 percent excise tax on all retail marijuana sales, and cultivation taxes of $9.25 per ounce of flower and $2.75 per ounce of leaves.

Meanwhile, licensed medical marijuana patients are exempt from sales tax.