SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.—The legal sale of marijuana starts in July and Washington is set to collect some hefty taxes off of it. So KREM’s 2 On Your Side looked into where the tax goes once it leaves your wallet.
State leaders estimated they could make up to $2 billion in the first five years of marijuana taxes. The law making pot legal dictated the tax rate and earmarked it for health services and marijuana related programs.
Here is how the tax system works:
When a processor buys from a producers, they pay a 25% tax.
The retailer pays another 25% when they buy from the processor.
The customer pays a 35% tax when they buy from a store.
The tax money is then distributed every three months to the Department of Social and Health Services, the University of Washington (a specific program) and the Liquor Control Board. Whatever tax money is left has to be split between the Washington’s basic health plan, substance abuse programs, marijuana education research and Washington’s general fund.