WASHINGTON: On the first day of the special legislative session, Washington House members took up a bill that would change the way the state taxes recreational marijuana.
Washington lawmakers are back in Olympia this week after failing to pass a two-year operating budget during the regular legislative session. Now, lawmakers have 30 days to address the operating budget, a transportation package and satisfy a court mandate to adequately fund the state’s public school system.
Also on their to-do list is cracking down on the illicit marijuana market by addressing the current tax structure.
With Oregon’s recreational market about to come online, the bill could have particular implications for border counties such as Clark County.
Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, chief sponsor of House Bill 2136, which passed the House in a 70-25 vote, said a lower tax rate would better align with both the black market and Oregon. Carlyle’s bill would change the tax structure to a 30 percent tax applied only at the point of sale. Currently a 25 percent tax is applied to recreational marijuana three times as it goes from grower to producer to processor.