WA Legislature Approves Measure Allowing Financial Institutions to Work With Marijuana Industry

Legislation allowing financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been passed by Washington State’s full legislature.

Yesterday Washington’s House of Representatives voted 83 to 15 to pass Senate Bill 5928. The vote comes a little over two weeks after the Senate gave approval to the bill in a 38 to 9 vote. The proposal will now go to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee, who has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or veto it. Given Inslee’s previous support of the legal marijuana industry, it’s expected that he will sign it into law.

If the measure does become law, as expected, it would provide  “immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

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Washington State Garners Over $300 Million in Taxes from Marijuana Sales in FY 2017

Washington has garnered over $300 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in fiscal year 2017.

This is according to data from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). In total the state has earned $304,968,332 in fiscal year 2017, which began on July 1, 2016 and ended on June 30. These taxes come from $1.32 billion in legal marijuana sales (all of this is as of June 20, meaning the total numbers for FY 2017 will end up slightly higher).

By comparison, there was $786 million in total marijuana sales, resulting in $185 million in taxes, in FY 2016. In FY 2015, the first fiscal year with legal cannabis sales, $64.8 million in taxes was garnered from $259 million in sales.

Read moreWashington State Garners Over $300 Million in Taxes from Marijuana Sales in FY 2017

Washington State Garnering Nearly $1 Million in Daily Taxes from Legal Marijuana Sales

Washington State’s legal marijuana market continues to grow, with daily marijuana sales surpassing $4.8 million.

The daily average of $4.82 million in legal marijuana sales – a new high – garners the state roughly $910,000 in daily taxes. This is according to data collected by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board. According to the board, 490 retail licenses and 974 producer/processor licenses have been distributed throughout the state.

So far in fiscal year (FY) 2017, which began on July 1st, there has been $1,181,675,336 in legal marijuana sold, resulting in $220,980,590 in taxes. This has already topped the total sales ($972,729,675) and taxes ($185,786,493) for FY 2016.

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DEA Gives Washington State Approval to Import Hemp Seeds

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has received approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to import hemp seeds.

“It’s a real, real possibility we’ll have a spring planting of hemp,” says WSDA’s hemp coordinator Emily Feblesy According to Feblesy the WSDA has proposed rules for hemp cultivation and hopes to issue licenses to growers, seed distributors and processors in May.

Washington now joins several other states – including Oregon – that have received DEA approval to import hemp seeds.

For now, the hemp grown in Washington will be for research purposes. However, a bill to legalize commercial hemp cultivation, without a license and without a grow limit, recently passed the state’s House of Representatives with a unanimous 98 to 0 vote. The measure must now be passed by the Senate in order to be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

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Daily Marijuana Sales Reach $4.6 Million in Washington State, New High

There is now over $4.6 million in legal marijuana sold each day in Washington State.

The daily average of $4,611,558 worth of marijuana sold results in over $800,000 in daily tax revenue for the state. This comes out to a monthly average of $138 million in marijuana sold, and over $25 million in taxes garnered.

In 2016 there was a over $1.4 billion in legal cannabis sold in Washington State, which resulted in over $250 million. This total was slightly higher than the $1.3 billion worth of legal cannabis sold in Colorado in 2016, which garnered the state almost $200 million in taxes.

Read moreDaily Marijuana Sales Reach $4.6 Million in Washington State, New High

WA: Over 1,000 Signatures on Petition to End Felonies for Personal Cannabis Possession

Personal Cannabis PossessionA Change.org petition calling on Washington State’s lawmakers to end felonies for personal cannabis possession has received over 1,000 signatures in just a 10-day period.

“In Washington the possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, due to the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012”, states the petition. “However, the possession of just 50% more than this – anything over 40 grams – is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”

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Over $130 Million in Legal Cannabis Sold in Washington State in August

moneyThere was over $130 million in legal cannabis sold in Washington in the month of August, resulting in roughly $25 million in taxes, according to new data released by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.

So far for fiscal year 2017, which began on July 1st, there has been nearly $250 million in legal cannabis sold, resulting in nearly $50 million in taxes. Currently there is an average of over $4.2 million in legal cannabis purchased each day, which results in over $700,000 in daily taxes.

Read moreOver $130 Million in Legal Cannabis Sold in Washington State in August

Washington Has Harsher Felony Cannabis Possession Laws than 32 Other States

Felony Cannabis PossessionWashington is one of four states where the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, including its distribution through licensed retail outlets. With that in mind, you might be surprised to know that in regards to felony cannabis possession laws, Washington’s are harsher than 32 states, including conservative states such as Texas and Utah.

In Washington, possessing up to 28 grams is legal; possessing 28 to 40 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Once you reach over 40 grams, the charge becomes a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison; this is equal to unlawful imprisonment and rape of a child in the third degree (which is also a class C felony).

Below is a list of states that have softer cannabis possession felony laws than Washington:

 

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Average Daily Cannabis Sales Jumps to $4.2 Million in Washington State

Cannabis SalesThere is over $4.2 million in legal cannabis sold each day in Washington, according to data released by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board. This is a $400,000 a day jump from less than a month ago.

The $4.2 million in daily cannabis sales nets the state over $750,000 in daily tax revenue. For fiscal year 2017, which began on July 1st, there has already been over $155 million in legal cannabis sold, resulting in nearly $30 million in taxes for the state. The uptick in sales can likely be attributed to the fact that medical cannabis dispensaries not licensed with the Liquor and Cannabis Board were forced to shut down on July 1st due to Senate Bill 5052 taking full effect.

Read moreAverage Daily Cannabis Sales Jumps to $4.2 Million in Washington State