WA Moves Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Tax Structure

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Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and marijuana-based products under a bill awaiting Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.

The measure – House Bill 2136 – would replace the state’s three-tier tax system with a single excise tax of 37% assessed on sales at retail cannabis stores.

The move could lower the final cost of cannabis to consumers, which would help bolster sales.

Under the current law, a 25% excise tax is assessed when inventory is transferred from growers to processors, then again from processors to retailers, and finally from retailers to customers.

The bill to change that tax structure passed the House on Friday with a 59-38 vote and the Senate on Saturday by a tally of 36-7.

Patients who register for MMJ with the state would be exempt from a separate sales tax if the bill gets Inslee’s approval, as would transactions involving high-CBD, low-THC products.

The bill also would require the state to share tax revenue with local jurisdictions that allow marijuana businesses, and it would revamp zoning requirements to make it easier for cultivation sites and retail outlets to open, according to the Associated Press.