On November 6, 2012, Washington State voters passed Initiative 502 (I-502). The initiative makes it legal for businesses holding the appropriate marijuana license(s) to produce, process, or make retail sales of marijuana for recreational use.
There are eight different type of the cannabis licenses in Washington State with the following fees:
- $250 Application Fee (Non-Refundable)
- $1,480 Annual Fee for Issuance and Renewal.
It is not allowed to hold a producer/processor and retailer license.
After more than three years in operation, sales in Washington’s adult use market have continued to exceed expectations.
In 2014, average monthly sales were $10.8 million. By 2015 average monthly sales increased five-fold to $51.2 million. This then doubled in 2016 to more than $111.6 million, with strong demand continue in 2017.
Additionally, the state increased the number of retail licenses that will be made available from 334 to 556, and under the new harmonized medical program, patients will be required to pay the 37% excise tax on cannabis, thereby eliminating a key benefit of being a medical cannabis patient relative to being an adult use consumer.
Washington cannabis market is projected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2016 to $2 billion in 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 23%. While all categories of cannabis products enjoyed healthy growth, alternative methods of consumption outpaced traditional flower sales. By Q2 2017, 21% of Washington cannabis sales were concentrates, 9% were edibles, and 10% were pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, with dried flower accounting for only 59%.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed a bill that paves the way for the state to create what is believed to be the first system in the United States to certify marijuana as organic.