311 Washington MMJ Businesses Skirting Taxes

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Washington State’s Department of Revenue has identified 311 medical marijuana businesses that have not been paying taxes.

The department is sending out letters to those businesses today in an attempt to clarify the state’s tax laws.

The letters inform the businesses – which includes dispensaries, growing collectives, edibles providers and related companies – that they must register with the department and pay their taxes. They have until Jan. 24 to comply.

In some cases, businesses will be required to pay back taxes.

That could amount to millions of dollars for the state, which has done a poor job of enforcing the tax laws on MMJ businesses to date. Last year, only 100 MMJ businesses paid roughly $2.5 million in state and local taxes.

The state’s retail sales tax is 6.5 percent, and local governments can levy additional taxes over that. Medical marijuana operations must also pay business and occupation taxes of about 47 cents per $100 in sales.

According to the state’s estimates, there are about 800 MMJ businesses in Washington required to pay taxes.