Recreational marijuana sales near hard alcohol sales numbers
By The Independent Staff
Washington is putting the green in Evergreen State.
Sales of marijuana products for the state have surpassed $200 million in a quarter for the first time.
The second quarter in 2016 saw the most marijuana bought in Washington than ever before, the Tacoma News Tribune reports.
The second quarter of the year, which is April, May and June — saw marijuana sales reach $212 million. This growth in sales is gaining on hard alcohol sales, the News Tribune reports.
In the first quarter of 2016, which consists of January, February and March, the total number of hard alcohol sales topped pot sales by $54.8 million. By the second quarter that number closed to $37 million. Total hard alcohol sales in the second quarter were $249 million.
This comes after the state closed medical marijuana shops and made all sales go through recreational marijuana stores.
Tax money, the Tacoma News Tribune said, is a lure for cities and counties to lift their ban on marijuana sales. Many implemented bans to see how the state would handle sales. Currently Washington has the highest tax on pot and hard alcohol, said the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax policy think tank. Retail marijuana sales include a 37 percent tax at the register. State revenue forcasts show that the state expects to collect almost $1.3 billion in taxes from the start of marijuana legalization in 2014 through 2019. The city of Tacoma, the Tribune reports, expects a half a million dollars in pot sale revenue for twelve months through July of 2017.