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HOT SPRINGS — Medical marijuana sales have netted $54 million in state sales tax revenue since the first legal sale of the drug in Arkansas in May 2019, the state revenue agency said Monday.

Medical marijuana patients have spent $250 million on the drug this year, raising the total to $486 million since the first dispensary opened more than 30 months ago. The state levies its 6.5% sales tax and a 4% privilege tax on medical marijuana sales.

Earlier this year, the Legislature extended the sunset date of the latter tax through the state fiscal year that ends June 30, 2023. A 2019 law made the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences a beneficiary of the tax, the proceeds of which are helping UAMS achieve a National Cancer Institute designation.

The Department of Finance and Administration said November sales from the 37 operating dispensaries generated $2.56 million in state sales tax revenue. May was the largest month for collections, with medical marijuana sales raising $3.28 million in sales tax revenue for the state.

Sales of 332.55 pounds at Suite 443, the Hot Springs dispensary where the state’s first legal sale of the drug was transacted in

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