An employee collects money while holding packages of marijuana at Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, Washington, on July 8, 2014, the first day of recreational sales in the state. (David Ryder, Getty Images file)

Washington weed sales in first month of recreational sales: $3.8 million

SEATTLE — During the first month of legal marijuana sales in Washington state, stores sold just under $3.8 million, which is expected to bring in more than $1 million in state taxes, the state reported on Friday.

Although licenses have been issued for about 40 stores, only 18 were selling pot in July, and 16 of them have reported sales so far in August.

“It’s off to a healthy start, considering that the system isn’t fully up and running yet,” said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington Liquor Control Board.


Only one shop open, Seattle?! They were pretty much smokeless in Seattle on the first day of weed sales. Imagine if Denver had started this way


During the first month of retail marijuana sales in Colorado, the state collected closer to $2 million in excise and sales taxes.

Like Colorado, Washington will tax marijuana in two ways: sales taxes and excise taxes.

Excise taxes are paid at three different points in the process: When the grower transfers the marijuana to the processor, when the processor transfers it to the store and when the retailer sells it to the consumer. The tax rate at all three points is 25 percent.

The Legislature is not banking on any marijuana revenue until the next fiscal year begins in July 2015. They have forecast tax collections totaling $122 million in the next two-year state budget cycle.

The state of Colorado has collected $29.8 million in all marijuana taxes, fees and licenses since recreational sales became legal in January. That number includes medical marijuana taxes.

Update made Aug. 12: Colorado’s marijuana revenue had previously been misreported, and has been corrected to $29.8 million.


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