MA Brings In $14.9M In Tax Revenue From Recreational Marijuana

The state does not break down revenue by cities and towns

The city of Westfield received $45,000 this fiscal year that it didn’t get last year.

Quite the story in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt city finances and everything — especially the revenue picture — seems to turn out worse than expectations.

The payment, for the fiscal year’s first quarter, came from the state as the city’s share of marijuana taxes collected this year for the first time. The city’s first marijuana retailer, Cannabis Connection, opened in June.

Westfield is not alone in seeing new money from the state’s growing cannabis industry. But cities and towns, and the businesses themselves, don’t necessarily know what will happen next. As the industry begins to mature, there is burgeoning competition and market fluctuations as consumer acceptance and habits change following pandemic-related lockdowns.

Will the end of COVID-19 restrictions mean more business? Will new shops that open dilute receipts, or will greater social acceptance lead to more sales? Will new shops in neighboring communities — Springfield’s first opened in September, and its taxes aren’t in yet — change the bottom line in communities that had monopolies in the early days?

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