5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Washington Marijuana Economy

Marijuana is legal to use in the state of Washington, which along with Colorado, is actually one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Now, Washington has completely replaced marijuana prohibition with taxation and regulation, and the state’s economy has since prospered, while also helping more of its citizens. In 2016, the state was even ranked #1 for having the fastest-growing economy, when sales of marijuana products in Washington surpassed $200 million, because residents and visitors were, and still are, buying more cannabis than ever.

Washington anticipates marijuana sales will continue to grow in the next two years, as the state expects to make $730 million in marijuana money. This number does seem, and certainly is very large, though it’s only part of the $41.3 billion in total revenues expected for the state’s overall budget. Also, even though the marijuana industry is pulling in such numbers for the state, only some of Washington’s marijuana money is available for lawmakers to actually spend. More than 60% of the state’s marijuana money is expected to go toward public health programs, and about $211 million isn’t spoken for, so it will flow into the state general fund. Many argue this money should go to education, though relocating the state’s marijuana money may take time and work, which fortunately the industry has plenty of.


Lawmakers in Quebec failed to pass a bill that would have increased the minimum age for purchasing and consuming cannabis from 18 to 21 before the end of the legislative session. When the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was elected to power in Quebec last year, they brought with them a promise to raise the legal age for buying and consuming recreational cannabis. Right now, anyone 18 or older can legally purchase cannabis in Quebec, which is tied with Alberta for having the lowest legal age for recreational cannabis.

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