the Evergreen State
In 2012, Washington became the first U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis after more than a decade of medical legalization. The state still has an active medical cannabis program, too.
Since Washington has been at it the longest, the legal cannabis market there has grown like, well, weed. Between 2015 and 2020¹, sales increased 605% and in 2019, cannabis revenue surpassed the liquor industry by $172 million². Cannabis sales contribute over $2B to the state’s economy annually³.
Washington has put nearly half of its cannabis revenue into its Basic Health Plan Trust Account, which is used to provide healthcare and services to the state's working classes. The rest of the state's cannabis revenue goes to education, research and a large state general fund⁴.
¹ Washington State University Study, 2020
² Where’s Weed: “Which States Have the Biggest Marijuana Markets,” February 17, 2021
³Washington State University Study, 2020
⁴Where’s Weed: “Which States Have the Biggest Marijuana Markets,” February 17, 2021