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Inslee to sign recreational marijuana bill

A group of lawmakers and supporters stand at the desk of Gov.  Jay Inslee on April 24, when he signed bill overhauling the state's medical marijuana system.
A group of lawmakers and supporters stand at the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee on April 24, when he signed bill overhauling the state’s medical marijuana system.

Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to sign a fairly comprehensive recreational marijuana bill this afternoon. For anyone struggling to make money in the business, the measure is the big change they’ve been waiting for.

The bill revamps the current three-tiered excise tax structure and replaces it with a single 37 percent tax charged only at the point of sale in pot shops. Altogether, it should take tons of pressure off struggling growers and processors and eventually help lead to a price drop in stores.

Aside from shaking up the tax structure, the bill also establishes funding for marijuana research at Washington State University and the University of Washington, and it will redirect a large portion of marijuana tax revenue back to the cities and counties that haven’t banned pot businesses.

If you want to watch the historic moment, check out the TVW footage of Inslee’s bill signing ceremony. Several other bills are on the signing schedule, too.

- Justin Runquist