SPOKANE, Wash. -- Marijuana shops in Eastern Washington say they aren't panicking after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended the "hands-off" Federal policy toward pot established by the Obama Administration.
Here in Washington, the pot industry is certainly lucrative. In 2016 the state collected more than $160 million. This comes from legal marijuana taxes and license fees, according to data from the Washington State's Office of Financial Management. Even more money was collected in 2017.
The office said in fiscal year 2017, the state collected more than $300 million in taxes and license fees from marijuana sales. The revenue is distributed three different ways. The first, being multiple groups and state agencies that get a base amount. Then once those base amounts are met, several state agencies get various percentages of the revenue and whatever is left goes to the state's general fund.
The Department of Health and Human Services gets a flat $500,000 for it is bi-annual youth survey. The University of Washington gets a flat $20,000 for public education materials at its alcohol and drug abuse institute.
More than $194 million is then distributed to several state agencies. For example, $7.5 million goes to Department of Social and Health Services programs that aim to prevent substance abuse.
Washington State University gets $138,000 and the University of Washington gets $207,000 to study the long-term effects of marijuana. This leaves more than $96 million for the state's general fund.
According to the state, the $300 million is expected to get even bigger with over $361 million in revenue expected in 2018.