Hand over the cash: Alaska collecting first marijuana tax payments from weed businesses

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The state has begun receiving its first tax payments from marijuana businesses, one month after the start of legal pot sales in Alaska.

Related: This is how Alaska businesses will have to make marijuana tax payments to the state

The Department of Revenue said the first cash deposit from a pot shop came Monday. Leif Abel, co-owner of Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, became the second owner to pay when he dropped off $5,600 in tax money on Tuesday, KTUU-TV reported.

“We’re proud to be able to come in and pay our first marijuana tax. It’s something that we’ve been we’ve been working toward for between two and three years now so it’s nice to finally reach this day,” Abel said. “It’s kind of as big of a day as our first sale was to us.”

The state has set up a deposit safe at the Permanent Fund Dividend office for business owners to drop off their tax payments. It’s Alaska’s only in-person drop site for cash.

The payment process helps owners avoid having to deal with banks that are leery about working with pot businesses because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

Business owners can also submit payments by mail, wire transfer or electronically, according to officials.

Abel said his Kasilof business mostly deals in cash because most banks and credit unions won’t allow his cultivation operation to open a bank account.

“And so unless I want to do some sort of financial acrobatics, I have cash and that’s what I have to give to the state,” Abel said.

He praised the state’s tax system for being efficient and easy to follow.

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Information from: KTUU-TV

Source: Hand over the cash: Alaska collecting first marijuana tax payments from weed businesses