Where’s the $22 Million Collected in Marijuana Taxes So Far?
Legalized marijuana sales have been earning taxes since July. Critics are asking, "Where's the money?"
Some $89 million has been made off the sale of pot, of which $22 million is excise taxes. In the days leading up to the election, and shortly afterwards, supporters of legal pot claimed sales would eventually reach levels of half a billion dollars.
While not there yet, $89 million is quite a lot, and that $22 million in taxes alone has been used for anything.
The vast majority of that money was supposed to be used for health care, the state general fund, local budget assistance, and (don't snicker) youth drug prevention! But nothing has been done in these areas.
According to state liquor control board officials, they're waiting for the state of pass a supplemental budget, which would directly allocate where the money would go. Gov. Inslee wants the money to go to the University of Washington for research, to the Department of Social and Health Services, and to enforcement efforts to support the statutes of I-502, the pot bill.
State officials say the money will just sit in the bank account until this fall, at the earliest, before any allocations begin.
So much for all the grandiose plans promised by supporters of legal pot.