Washington state collected a total of $395.5 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2019, all but $5.2 million of it from the state’s marijuana excise, or sales tax. The data is available in the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board’s FY 2019 Annual Report (p. 14).
The report also shows that the marijuana revenues were $172 million more than that of liquor, and that the marijuana tax income to the state for fiscal 2019 of $395.5 million grew by slightly more than $28 million from the prior fiscal year.
Revenues collected by the Liquor and Cannabis Board from legal cannabis taxes, license fees, and penalties are distributed as follow, according to the report:
- General Fund – $116.5 million
- Basic Health – $188.3 million
- Cities, Counties – $15.0 million
- Education, Prevention – $9.5 million
- Research – $0.4 million
- Other – $49.2 million
RCW 69.50.540 sets the template for allocations of state spending funded through marijuana sales taxes and licensing fees.
Nearly half of all marijuana revenues fiscal 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 went to the Basic Health Plan Trust Account.
That account is described by the Office of Financial Management as providing “necessary basic health care services to working persons and others who lack coverage, at a cost to these persons that does not create a barrier to the utilization of necessary health care services.”