02 Jul Washington State Resets Marijuana Tax at 37 Percent
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state’s recreational marijuana law has a new tax structure under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The new law eliminates the current three-tier tax structure and replaces it with a single excise tax of 37 percent at the point of sale — a change sought by the legal-pot industry. To encourage more cities and counties to allow marijuana businesses, the bill directs the state to share pot revenue with jurisdictions that do so. It also allows them to adopt more flexible zoning for where pot grows and stores can be located.
The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 allowed the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use at licensed stores, which started opening last year. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed and Inslee signed into law a measure that regulates the state’s medical marijuana system and reconciles the two markets.
The tax structure change is significant for marijuana businesses. Previously, pot shops charged their customers 25 percent as required so they could pass that money along to the state. But because of the way the law was written, they had to pay federal income tax on that money they collected from the customer, even though it didn’t go toward their bottom lines. [Read more from the Associated Press at The Denver Post]
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