OLYMPIA, Wash. - Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is in the hands of voters this November but it’s really up to the federal government if Washington state sees any financial gain.
Adults over the age of 21 would be able to grow, buy and use small amounts of marijuana legally if Initiative 502 passes in November.
According to the state Office of Financial Management, regulated cannabis sales would generate more than $2 billion over the next five years.
That money would come primarily from taxing marijuana but some would come from licensing as well after an estimated $65 million is spent to set up that system over 5 years.
The state said those figures are only estimates, but a portion of the profits would benefit cities, counties and the state general fund directly.
But Washington's financial gain depends on whether the federal government allows it, because recreational use of marijuana
is against federal law.