Seattle, WA – The recreational marijuana market has flourished in the state since it’s doors opened on July 8, 2014. In 12 months, the industry has brought in $70 million. Currently, the state only has 155 shops reporting sales that are generating average daily sales of $1,299,924, according to the State’s Liqour Control Board that overseas the I-502 program in Washington.
The program has already funneled $69,233,713 into taxes and has brought in a total of $259,785,729 in sales, year-to-date. The sales have seen consistent growth every month since the beginning of the program, until this month. Currently, sales are down approximately $200,000 since last month.
Retail prices are averaging at $12 per gram down from $25 per gram in 2014, according to RT.com. It is reported that retailers have sold over 23,000 pounds of the 31,000 pounds of cannabis harvasted last year. Retailers are struggling to keep up with rising demand and high taxes.
Washington Governor, Jay Inslee (D), signed SB 5052, that will go into effect in September, but nearly abolishes the medical marijuana program and merges it with the recreational I-502 program. Last month, Inslee also signed
a law changing the recreational tax system from a three-tier system where the processor would be taxed 25% and a 25% tax on the retailer. Now it will be a single 37% at the retail point of sale.
Previously, retailers were charging a 25% tax, but the way the laws were written the retailer would have to claim that money as income and then would have to pay federal income tax on it. The 37% take will be much like a sales tax (aka an extortion tax). For example, Colorado currently imposes a standed 2.9% sales tax, along with a 10% marijuana tax, and a 15% excise tax on wholesale sales.