Washington’s Senate on Saturday voted 36 to 7 to approve legislation that would make changes to the state’s recreational cannabis market, including removing the three-tier tax structure in favor of a single excise tax. The vote came a day after the House of Representatives passed the measure with a 59 to 38 vote. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee.
House Bill 2136 would remove Washington’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis (25% on the producer, processor and retailer), and would replace it with a single 37% tax which would be paid at the point of sale at retail outlets.
To encourage jurisdictions to allow cannabis businesses, the bill directs the state to share revenue from cannabis sales only with cities and counties that allow them to occur.
The proposal also allows counties and cities to reduce the current restrictions limiting cannabis outlets from being located within 1,000 feet of a childcare centers, public park, transit center, library or arcade.
In addition, House Bill 2136 prohibits cannabis vending machines, clubs and drive-thru facilities
Governor Inslee is expected to sign the bill into law.