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News about the legal Washington State industry & public concerns.

Marijuana Tax Collections Starting To Roll In, Millions More Expected

File photo of an indoor marijuana grow
File photo of an indoor marijuana grow

In a manner of speaking, millions of dollars of "drug money" is starting to flow into Washington state coffers.

File photo of an indoor marijuana grow
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network
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The first year of legal pot sales in Washington state is expected to generate about $25 million in fees and taxes.

The state's chief economic forecaster updated budget writers Thursday on how much tax money they can expect from recreational marijuana now that the first state licensed stores have opened.

The refined forecast calls for the first year of legal pot sales to generate about $25 million in fees and taxes. The Washington governor's budget director, David Schumacher, put that into context.

"In the face of a budget problem approaching two or three billion dollars, it's not very much money,” he said. “But you know, any money is helpful."

The rollout of legal recreational marijuana sales has been somewhat rocky in Washington. Many permitted stores are late in opening and pot supplies limited.

The state revenue forecast includes much higher cannabis collections in the next budget cycle. Back up a Brinks truck for around $207 million between next year and 2017.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
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