Washington state makes $65 million in first-year taxes from marijuana
Washington state took in $65 million in tax revenue from the recreational marijuana market during the first 12 months since it became legal to produce and sell, according to data released by state regulators this week.
The revenue was generated by cannabis sales of more than $260 million from June 2014 to June 2015, according to data released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which oversees the distribution of cannabis.
Voters in Washington state as well as in Colorado approved measures legalizing personal possession and consumption of marijuana in 2012, ushering in the licensing and taxation of retail stores that offer a range of marijuana products to adults.
Despite remaining against federal law, possession of small amounts of marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia, Oregon and Alaska.
In Washington state, customers who are 21 and older are legally allowed up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana before buying more. They also can buy up to 16 ounces (454 grams) of pot-infused product in solid form, or up to 72 ounces (2 kg) of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.
Retailers sold more than 23,000 pounds of marijuana of the 31,000 pounds produced in Washington during the year, state data showed.
In April, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed a measure that overhauls the state’s medical marijuana market, reconciling the long unregulated system with the state’s recreational pot industry.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by David Gregorio)