The Columbian / Associated Press

Senate OKs bill changing tax structure of marijuana law

OLYMPIA — The Senate has passed a bill that removes the excise tax on producers and processors of recreational marijuana and instead imposes the tax only on retail sales.

Senate Bill 6062 passed on a 26-22 vote in the early morning hours of Friday and now heads to the House for consideration. Under the measure, the retail sales tax rate would be 37 percent.

A bulk of the tax would be distributed to the general fund, with the remainder going to an education fund. Of the amount going to the general fund, $6 million would be distributed to local governments.

The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 allowed the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use at licensed stores, which started opening last summer.