Washington state lawmakers weigh in on $200M pot tax bill
Washington state legislators on Thursday were asked by Gov.
Jay Inslee if they would consider a proposal from Gov.
Kate Brown to levy a $200 million tax on the sale of recreational marijuana.
The proposal would have raised about $20 million a year for the state’s general fund.
It’s one of the few states that has not legalized recreational marijuana, which is taxed at $20 per ounce.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, said he’s been in contact with Brown.
He said he is not against the idea.
But he said he thinks it would be too expensive and could lead to a backlash.
“I’m concerned about what will happen if it gets too complicated,” Wiener said.
The state is considering several other ideas for the tax, including one from the mayor of Seattle, who is proposing it as part of a package to help the city deal with the influx of refugees from the war in Syria.
The governor said in a statement that the plan has not been presented to him, and he does not plan to consider it at this time.
Brown, who opposes the tax proposal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brown has said she wants to see more of a study of the economic impact of legalizing marijuana before she makes a final decision.
In an interview last year, Brown said that she thinks it’s a question of “when” rather than “if” that the state could regulate the industry.