BY IBRAHEM POVIC
Washington’s legal marijuana sales in August reached $6.9 million, more than doubling July’s total of $3.2 million in retail sales.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board recently released marijuana sales data ranging from the start of recreational sales on July 8 (when Washington went legal) to September of this year, and the data shows legal weed is on the rise.
The increase in sales reflects both an increase in retail shops, an increase in supply, increase in buyers, and of course, eight extra days to buy legal weed.
Likewise, Washington is seeing a correlated increase in legal weed tax dollars. August’s sales have thus resulted in over $1.7 million in tax dollars for the state, compared to the $804,890 tax total in July.
Through one week of sales, September has reached nearly $2 million in sales, putting the month on pace to surpass August’s total and hit over $8 million worth of marijuana sales for the month.
Given the state’s excitement toward legal pot, this summer’s figures are no surprise. Amid the celebration of the state’s new law, the only notable negative side effect has been that dispensaries quickly running out of product to sell. And August’s ridiculous increase over July’s numbers is clearly not an anomaly: the September numbers show that we can expect increased returns as the recreational marijuana program continues.
In Colorado, the results have been similar. Recreational sales continue to rise, and in July just surpassed medical figures for the first time this year.
The state’s Department of Revenue doesn’t disclose the total sales in raw figures, but their sales tax documents show that the program is helping to pad Colorado’s coffers. In July 2014, medical and recreational marijuana sales resulted in over $6 million in tax transfers and distributions.
Colorado license and application fees alone netted the state just over $1.3 million, with $910,000 coming from medical marijuana applications and $469,000 from recreational licenses and application fees. Recreational cannabis sales in the state have also risen since January 1.
Given most of the taxes from Colorado and Washington’s marijuana sales go to funds to support the state and items such as children’s drug education programs, legalized pot seems to be a win-win.
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