Jul 4, 2015 2:13 PM by News Staff
SEATTLE (AP) - In the year since Washington state launched its legal marijuana market, tax revenues have soared past expectations with state and local governments bringing in some $70 million.
There are now about 160 shops selling pot in Washington, with sales topping $1.4 million per day.
Washington pot farmers, processors and retailers have struggled to turn a profit, complaining that state and federal tax burdens are too heavy and competition from an unregulated medical marijuana market make it difficult to do business.
But this month they are getting some relief with two new laws taking effect. One regulates and taxes medical marijuana. The other cuts Washington's three-level excise tax on pot to a single, 37-percent tax.
While the tax revenues are a small percentage of Washington's $38 billion two-year budget, officials and legalization backers say the state's slow and deliberate effort to regulate marijuana has been a success.