WA Lawmakers Weigh Rec Tax Change

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Washington State recreational marijuana shops have been struggling underneath a heavy tax burden, but state lawmakers could soon deliver some relief – in stages, at least.

A proposed bill being considered by policymakers would reduce the current excise tax structure – 25 percent each time cannabis changes hands, from producer to processor to retailer – to a single tax paid by consumers. According to The Seattle Times, the suggested change would institute a 37% tax, and downgrade that to 30% in July 2017, and then 25% in 2019.

Sales tax would still be collected as well.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by a Democrat and a Republican in the state Senate, aims to make the taxes on the industry sustainable, since many business owners in Washington say they’ve either been operating at a loss or just breaking even because of the current tax rates.

To alleviate some of the tax pressure, some operators have come up with innovative ways to take more federal deductions, such as bundling paraphernalia along with marijuana-infused products, The Times reported.