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Washington state pot buyers weren't shy in the first month of legal marijuana sales, with stores selling just under $3.8 million. That's expected to bring in more than $1 million in state taxes, the state reported Friday. Although licenses have been issued for about 40 stores, only 18 were selling pot in July, and 16 have reported sales so far in August. "It's off to a healthy start, considering that the system isn't fully up and running yet," said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington Liquor Control Board. During the first month of retail marijuana sales in Colorado, the state collected closer to $2 million in excise and sales taxes.
Like Colorado, Washington will tax marijuana in two ways: sales taxes and excise taxes. Excise taxes are paid at three different points: When the grower transfers the marijuana to the processor, when the processor transfers it to the store and when the retailer sells it to the consumer. The tax rate at all three points is 25 percent. Tax collections are forecast to total $122 million in the next two-year state budget cycle. About $24.7 million worth of recreational pot was sold in June in Colorado, the state reported Friday.