One Year Of Legal Marijuana Generated $70 Million In Tax Revenue For Washington State

Washington state raked in more than $70 million in taxes during its first year of legal and regulated marijuana sales.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board, the government body charged with overseeing the state’s marijuana industry, reports that state pot shops sold more than $257 million worth of marijuana, generating more than $64 million through July 1 thanks to the state’s marijuana excise tax.

Add in local sales and other taxes, and Washington’s state and local governments have collected more than $70 million, according to The Associated Press — roughly doubling the state’s original marijuana tax revenue forecast of $36 million for the first year of sales.

“These impressive numbers are likely to catch the eyes of policymakers in other states that could use a little help closing their budget gaps,” Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, told The Huffington Post.

“While this amount of money isn’t nearly enough to run a whole state with, these are real dollars that can now be spent on things like schools, healthcare and road repair instead of going straight into the pockets of the drug dealers who controlled the marijuana market prior to legalization,” Angell added. “And this is only the first year. Expect to see even more revenue generated — and more jobs created — in the next few years.”

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