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Washington State Eliminating Excise Taxes For Medical Marijuana Patients

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 14, 2024 12:14 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Washington State Eliminating Excise Taxes For Medical Marijuana Patients

Washington State legislators recently voted to eliminate the 37% excise taxes on cannabis products for medical marijuana patients, a move that will save those with medical cards hundreds to thousands of dollars a year.

Washington’s Tax Elimination for Medical Marijuana Patients

The bill in question, HB 1453, was first introduced last year. Washington State has one of the highest excise taxes on cannabis in the country, and the goal was to synchronize the existing medical exemptions from standard sales and usage taxes with the 37% excise tax levied on marijuana transactions. The measure successfully passed both the House and the Senate with a strong majority of votes.

Vendors must uphold eligibility records for the exemption and document exempted amounts distinctly on excise tax forms. The proceeds from the excise tax on non-medical marijuana are then directed to a designated account. The law also says that every so often, the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, along with the Department of Revenue, should suggest changes to the rules to stop illegal sales while keeping medical marijuana affordable. Plus, they will have to provide updates to lawmakers every two years about how marijuana sales and taxes are doing.

Medical Cannabis Updates in Washington

Washington State has always been progressive when it comes to cannabis. They were one of the first states to legalize medicinal cannabis, and they legalized recreational cannabis alongside Colorado in 2012. The tax exemption will only stand to help patients further, eliminating the financial strain associated with high taxes.

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary

Nonetheless, the imposition of a 37% excise tax presents a significant financial burden for medical marijuana patients and providers alike, who find themselves subjected to the same taxation rate as recreational consumers.

Fortunately, Washington lawmakers have taken decisive action to rectify this issue by instituting a clear distinction in taxation between recreational and medical marijuana. Acknowledging the medicinal value of cannabis, they have opted to exempt medical marijuana from the 37% excise tax, supplementing the existing exemptions from general and local sales and use taxes.

The Future of The Bill

To become official, the bill must first be signed by state Governor Jay Inslee. Proponents of the bill are fairly confident that it will be moving forward, and it is set to take effect in about 90 days. his monumental decision underscores Washington State’s commitment to advancing equitable access to medical cannabis while fostering a regulatory framework conducive to the well-being of patients.

>> Learn more about Washington cannabis laws and see if you’re eligible for medical marijuana in Washington.

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