Millions made in marijuana industry, but where is it? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Millions made in marijuana industry, but where is it?

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According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board more than 89 million dollars has been made since recreational marijuana sales went legal in July of 2014. According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board more than 89 million dollars has been made since recreational marijuana sales went legal in July of 2014.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board more than $89 million has been made since recreational marijuana sales went legal in July of 2014. A little more than $22 million of that money is excise tax revenue. 

Initiative 502 passed after law makers and advocates lobbied that the added revenue sales would help fill budget gaps. Early projections were that sales could reach upward of a half a billion dollars in sales in the first few years. A vast majority of that money is set to go toward health care, the state general fund and local budgets and youth drug prevention.

"There is some money sitting in the account right now. We're just waiting for the state legislature to allocate it," said Linda Graham with the Spokane Regional Health District, an agency set to receive some of the marijuana tax revenue. 

"We were not expecting anything until last fall at the earliest." Graham says. "There are a lot of us who are not surprised." 

Brian Smith, a spokesman for the state Liquor Control Board, says the tax revenue is being held until the legislature passes a supplemental budget. Based on a budget proposal by Washington Governor Jay Inslee some of the marijuana money could go to the University of Washington for research, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Liquor Control Board for enforcement of I-502. All of that was written in to the bill. All of the other "distributions," Smith says, will begin during the 2015-2017 biennium beginning July 1st of this year, which is when other agencies should expect to get some of the funding.

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