WA: Marijuana’s Tax Return Reduced Locally

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Kittitas County punches slightly above its weight class when it comes to generating tax revenue from the marijuana industry, according to statistics kept by the state.

Kittitas County generates $2.3 million in excise tax off total sales, putting the county as the 20th highest collector among counties in the state. Kittitas is the 23rd largest county in terms of population.

While the sales and tax numbers are straight forward enough, the distribution of those tax dollars is more complex.

This past session, the Legislature reduced the amount of money distributed to local jurisdictions by more than half for 2018. In the city of Ellensburg, that means a drop from $33,502 in 2017 to a projected $6,843 in 2018.

According to the Multiple Research and Services Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal and policy guidance to local governments, the project marijuana excise tax revenues to be distributed to jurisdictions in Kittitas County for 2018 are as follows:

Kittitas County: $17,803

Ellensburg: $6,843

Cle Elum: $656

Roslyn: $312

South Cle Elum: $186

City of Kittitas: $525


After an early interest from multiple growers looking for land to grow marijuana, Kittitas County has dropped well behind other counties in revenue derived from marijuana producers. Kittitas County sees $842,354 in total sales from marijuana producers. Leading the state in producer sales is the relatively remote Okanogan County with $7.2 million. Kittitas County’s neighbor Grant County is the third highest at $4.9 million.

In terms of sale by marijuana processors, Spokane County at $68.5 million trails only King County at $68.7 million.