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The Washington state Senate has approved a bill that would change the current tax structure for recreational cannabis.

As it stands, the system places a 25% excise tax three separate times on marijuana entrepreneurs as products move from the grower to the consumer. The proposed bill, Senate Bill 6062, would remove the multi-layered tax system and replace it with a one-time 37% excise tax on marijuana transactions between retailers and consumers.

The bill was passed 26-22 early on Friday and now moves to the House for consideration, according to an AP report.

Under the proposed changes, the first $11.7 million in annual marijuana taxes will go to the general fund ($6 million of which will be set aside for local governments that haven’t passed a moratorium or taken other legal action against marijuana businesses) and the remainder will go to an education fund.

This could be a turning point for Washington’s cannabis industry, which has been widely criticized for its heavy-handed taxation since retail stores first opened in July, 2014.

Sources:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/3/senate-oks-bill-changing-tax-structure-of-marijuan/

Photo Credit: Marc Fuyà

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