There was over $250 million in recreational cannabis sold in Washington during the first year of legal sales, from July 1st, 2014, to July 1st, 2015. In total, this resulted in over $70 million in taxes for the state, according to data released by the state.
In total, there are 160 recreational cannabis outlets reporting sales throughout Washington. The $70 million in taxes garnered – $62 million from excise taxes and the remaining from state and local taxes – is nearly double state projections, which estimated taxes in the first year to be around $36 million.
By comparison, Colorado garnered $44 million in taxes during the first year of sales, despite having more sales overall ($313 million). This is due to cannabis taxes in Colorado being much lower.
Earlier this week Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a measure that eliminates Washington’s three-tier tax structure on recreational cannabis in favor of a single excise tax at the point of sale between retailers and their customers.