Washington's racked up more than $250 million in marijuana sales in the past year — roughly $62 million of which constitute marijuana excise taxes. That's beyond the state's original forecast of $36 million. And when state and local sales and other taxes are included, the total payday for the state and local governments tops $70 million. That's real money, if only a drop in Washington's $38 billion two-year budget. Colorado's recreational sales began Jan. 1, 2014, and brought in taxes of $44 million in the first year. The tax revenue could continue to keep climbing.
And as other states watch Washington and Colorado, the only other state with legal marijuana sales, bring in more money, they're ever more seriously considering following suit, as Oregon and Alaska have already.