Taxes Hammering WA Marijuana Stores

Taxes on recreational marijuana businesses in Washington State are so extreme that some shops are struggling to stay open despite burgeoning sales.

Cannabis City, the first retail marijuana store to open in Seattle, has racked up $2.5 million in sales, but much of that has been eaten up by state and federal taxes, owner James Lathrop told the news website

“We’re just taking a hit to pay those taxes and keeping the doors open,” he said.

Aside from having to pay hefty state taxes, cannabis retailers can’t write off many of their common businesses expenses when filing their federal taxes. Additionally, the feds treat money stores pay in state taxes as income, and tax it accordingly.

Lathrop told Crosscut that he would have to boost shelf prices of cannabis by around 70% or more “to make it work.”

Two lawmakers said they plan to introduce a bill next year that would alter the 25% excise tax marijuana vendors, growers and processors have to pay Washington State. The bill change the excise tax to a business and occupation tax. That would allow cannabis firms to write off the state tax when they file their federal taxes.

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7 comments on “Taxes Hammering WA Marijuana Stores
  1. Steven North on

    I honestly believe Olympia has an all day pass on the I-5 tour bus. Changing the Excise Tax to a Business & Occupation tax, for the pleasure of doing business in the sate of Washington, is also considered income and not EXCLUDED UNDER FOR FEDERAL INCOME TAX PURPOSES.

  2. Mark on

    Now that regulating and taxing marijuana has become a business , every activist in the country is on board … Yes The New Approch Oregon group is made up of a bunch of tax happy idiots. This group is focused on getting rules in place for big business .. .. They are headed for California next beware ….I believe pot should be legal , but not regulated and taxed to death …

  3. Manny Johnson on

    If you think these taxes are “hih,” wait until the end of the year when the Federal taxes are due. hey are from 67% to 80% with no normal business deductions! I have said all along in every state here is no way to make profit as long as Cannabis is a Schedule ONE Controlled subtance and subject to this tax.

  4. Skipper on

    Seems a pretty simple solution for the shops up North to just under claim their earnings by as much as 50% and pocket the cash the comes in. What’s the big deal?

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