The state of Washington gained 65 million dollars in tax revenue since the legalization of recreational marijuana, regarding both production and selling.
In 12 months after the legalization took head, between June 2014 and June 2015, Washington state sold marijuana worth of 260 million dollars. The data comes from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, overseeing the legal distribution of marijuana and marijuana products.
Recreational marijuana possession, as well as consumption was legalized in 2012 in Washington and Colorado.
Adult customers are allowed to possess 1 ounce of marijuana at a time, while being allowed to purchase 16 ounces of solid product infused with cannabis, and 72 ounces of liquid product.
The 260 million dollars were raised from the selling of 23,000 marijuana pounds out of the total Washington state production of 31,000 pounds during the same year.
Washington state’s medical marijuana system has been overhauled with the signing into law of a measure developed by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee. Signed in April, the law envisions that the medical marijuana market is encompassed in the recreational marijuana industry.
As recreational marijuana increasingly becomes a legal business with tax and revenue returns, a full-fledged lobby corps is shaping on the horizon. The deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Taylor West declared:
“Any industry that is heavily regulated by the government has to have an active voice. Cannabis is possibly the most regulated at this point, so there’s always going to be a need for political advocacy on behalf on the industry”.
The National Cannabis Industry Association is the only representative of the marijuana industry nationwide as a trade association.
The lobby and advocacy efforts start, as expected at the White House. Republican Senator Rand Paul, hopeful presidential candidate for 2016 is the first who took to fundraising among the representatives of the legal marijuana industry.
The fundraiser took the form of a closed-door reception connected to the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, Denver. The entry at the reception cost 2,700 dollars.
Yes, the Republican party and the marijuana legalization activists have historically been at odds. But the tide is changing as recently we’ve seen more Republican representatives inclined to find the balance between the draconically held views on drugs and the more lenient, liberal understanding of what the marijuana industry can bring to the table.
A survey conducted by Pew this year indicated that 53 percent of U.S. citizens are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Of them, 68 percent were represented by Millennials. Perhaps unsurprisingly, young Republican also favor marijuana legalization, with 60 percent.
Image Source: washingtonpost.com
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