Washington’s recreational cannabis industry has sold more than $1 billion worth of cannabis since the legal market’s launch in 2014, meaning the state has raked in just about $250 million in cannabis excise taxes, Jake Ellison reports for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The state’s highest monthly sales record was last month (June) at $86.7 million, nearly double what was sold during June 2015. The month-by-month increase in revenues has been a general theme since July 2014 and there has been little indication that things might change.
Washington and Colorado, the legalization pioneers, voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2012. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. voted to legalize in 2014. This November, a handful of other states — including California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine — will put the legalization question before voters. If California goes recreational this fall, Ellison reports, “it will quickly dwarf the combined markets of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.”
As of July 1, medical cannabis sales in Washington are now being funneled through the state’s recreational system — though patients who have registered with a state-managed patient registrar are still granted tax-free access to recreational cannabis products and do not face the same possession limitations as a recreational consumer.
Medical cannabis has been legalized in 25 of the 50 U.S. states (and in Guam and Washington D.C.).
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