Legal Marijuana adds $300 Million in Tax Revenue

Washington’s cannabis sales in the first nine months of 2017 generated more than $300 million in tax revenue, which is primarily being used to pay for public services.

In yet another indication of the nation’s booming cannabis industry, it took only nine months for the state of Washington to pass the $1 billion mark in cannabis sales in 2017. According to data released by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, the state’s nine months of sales brought in to more than $300 million in tax revenue for the state.

Washington was one of the first of now eight U.S. states to legalize adult use marijuana. After legalizing medical marijuana in 1999, state voters approved Initiative 502 in 2012 to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis.

Washington’s adult use market has continued to climb since it became operational in 2014, and it’s now averaging over $4.8 million in sales and $1 million in tax revenue every single day. The state’s recreational cannabis law imposes a 37 percent excise tax and 9.6 percent sales tax, while medical marijuana patients are only subject to the excise tax.

A portion of the generated tax revenue goes to the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board to oversee sales and collect taxes. Most of it – more than 60 percent — goes to:

  • Education and youth programs
  • Substance abuse prevention and treatment
  • Community health centers
  • Washington state’s share of Medicaid

Any leftover tax income goes into the state’s general fund.

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