While Washington’s recreational marijuana program may have gotten off to a rocky start, some recent numbers show that it is now thriving. The numbers are in for the first year of legal sales, and they are substantial. In Colorado’s first year of legal weed, taxes and fees generated around $44 million dollars for the state, and $76 million if you count medical.
Below are the newly released numbers for Washington, per KOMO News:
Washington’s racked up more than $250 million in marijuana sales in the past year roughly $62 million of which constitute marijuana excise taxes. That’s beyond the state’s original forecast of $36 million. And when state and local sales and other taxes are included, the total payday for the state and local governments tops $70 million.
That’s real money, if only a drop in Washington’s $38 billion two-year budget. Colorado’s recreational sales began Jan. 1, 2014, and brought in taxes of $44 million in the first year.
The tax revenue could continue to keep climbing.
There are now over 150 recreational stores serving customers in Washington, with 300+ licenses approved for a location. From that standpoint, we could continue to see an increase in revenue. However, legalization in Oregon and other states could impact future tourism sales.