Legalization

California only made half as much on 2018 marijuana taxes as expected

When California, the most populous state in America, legalized recreational marijuana last year, many had high hopes for the industry, writes Joseph Misulonas. But unfortunately, it appears initial projections for the success of the industry were a little off.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration announced that in 2018 the state collected $345.2 million from marijuana taxes. While that is a huge number, it's actually only slightly more than half of the state's initial projections of $643 million in tax revenue that they predicted they would receive in 2018. 

Many have argued why the state didn't make more money off of legal sales. The biggest reason seems to be the tax rate. California has some of the highest cannabis taxes in the nation, and customers can sometimes pay tax rates up to 45 percent on their marijuana purchases. These high prices are forcing many cannabis users to continue purchasing black market marijuana. This would also explain why California cannabis sales actually decreased between 2017 and 2018, despite it being legal recreationally last year.

Despite the fact that almost everyone acknowledges the tax rate is an issue, California legislators continue dragging their feet on the issue and not passing bills to lower the rate, despite several proposals to do so.

Wall Street Analyst Estimates US Cannabis Market Will Reach $47 Billion

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For years, “$20 billion by 2020” was an oft-heard refrain from market analysts who saw a bright and prosperous future for the legal cannabis industry. Now, with that horizon fast-approaching, analysts are setting their sights on what the next decade has in store. And one analyst, RBC Capital Markets’ Nik Modi, is seeing green.

Analyst Says Concentrates and Edibles Could Propel Sales To $47 Billion Annually

RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank that’s part of Royal Bank of Canada, issued a memo to clients outlining the rapid growth of the U.S. marijuana sector. The memo, authored by Nik Modi, shows how cannabis sales in the U.S. are gaining ground on beer and wine sales.

Projecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent, Modi estimates that the legal cannabis category could reach $47 billion in sales annually in the United States within the next decade, according to Business Insider.

Yet the cannabis market in the U.S. faces uncertainties that Canada does not. Regulatory environments are constantly and rapidly shifting as states implement legalization and adopt different approaches to dealing with federal prohibition. Investing in the industry still carries risk.

 

But RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi brushed off concerns about the unpredictability of legal cannabis in the U.S.. Instead, he drew clients’ attention to a shift in consumer trends that is already having a major impact on domestic retail markets.

Data from BDS Analytics, included in Modi’s memo, shows that the margin on cannabis flower has steadily declined since the beginning of recreational sales in Colorado in 2012. That’s indicative of a larger national move away from flower and toward cannabis edibles and concentrates.

In Colorado, flower made up 70 percent of legal sales when shops opened in 2014. By the end of Q4 2017, flower accounted for just 46 percent of total sales. Picking up the slack were edibles and concentrates. Both are surging in popularity everywhere, and Modi thinks those forms of cannabis can propel total sales beyond $47 billion a year by 2027.

 

Including Illegal Cannabis Sales Drastically Shifts Financial Forecasts

Another eye-catching aspect of Modi’s analysis is another BDS Analytics chart showing the estimated U.S cannabis market size. The chart compares cannabis sales to spirits, wine, cigarettes, and beer. From spirits at $58 billion to beer $117 billion, all four categories best cannabis at $50 billion. But interestingly, the chart includes total legal and illegal cannabis sales to arrive at the $50 billion figure. It’s unclear what proportion of that amount is made up by illegal sales.

Other cannabis market analysts say that illegal sales still account for the majority of total marijuana purchases in the U.S. But as legalization continues to channel consumers into the legal market, illegal sales are slowly declining.

While access to legal cannabis expands nationwide, the size of the illegal market remains difficult to measure. So does predicting how much of it will move aboveboard in the coming years.

 

RBC Capital Analyst Praises Big Investment in Canadian Cannabis

The letter RBC Capital Markets sent to clients also lauded Constellation Brands’ recent $4 billion investment in one of Canada’s largest medical cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. Constellation Brands is the firm behind the popular beverage companies Modelo, Corona and Svedka. The company has been moving incrementally into the Canadian cannabis market, upping its stake each time. Nik Modi says he’d like to see more companies make similar moves in the cannabis space.

California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Overturn Pre-Legalization Marijuana Convictions

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California lawmakers have passed a bill directing prosecutors throughout the state to overturn convictions for acts that are no longer illegal under the state’s Prop 64 cannabis legalization initiative. The bill would also reduce many felony convictions for marijuana-related crimes to misdemeanors.

The measure, Assembly Bill 1793, was passed by the California Senate Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of 22-8 after being approved by the California State Assembly on May 31 by a vote of 43-28.

If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, it will direct the state Department of Justice to identify cases from between 1975 and 2016 that are eligible to be overturned or reduced by July 31, 2019, and notify the appropriate district attorney for action. Prosecutors will then have until July 1, 2020 to decide if they want to challenge the reduction or elimination of any of those convictions.

Prop 64, passed by voters in 2016, legalized the recreational use and sale of cannabis and eliminated many marijuana-related crimes. That decriminalization also applied retroactively, making many eligible for a reduction or elimination of past cannabis convictions. Those with convictions for non-violent felonies including possession or distribution of less than one ounce of cannabis are eligible for reduction to misdemeanors. Prosecutors have the right to challenge relief based on the criminal history of affected individuals.

 

Thousands of Cases Eligible For Relief

The justice department estimates that 220,000 convictions qualify to be reduced or eliminated.  Prosecutors in San Diego and San Francisco have begun to proactively reduce or eliminate convictions, but many other district attorneys in the state have said that they do not have the resources to follow suit. That puts the burden of relief on those with the convictions, many of whom may not be aware that they are eligible. Some with convictions that qualify for a reduction or elimination have taken it upon themselves to petition the court for relief, but only a small minority of those who are eligible have done so.

Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco who voted for the measure, said it “creates a simpler pathway for Californians to turn the page,” according to an Associated Press report.

State Sen. Joel Anderson, a Republican from San Diego County, said that reducing felony convictions to misdemeanors will allow people to regain lost civil rights, including gun ownership.

 

“This bill will take those people off the prohibited list, save us time and money,” Anderson said.

AB 1793 was introduced by Democratic Assembly Rob Bonta of Oakland. He said that “the role of government should be to ease burdens and expedite the operation of law — not create unneeded obstacles, barriers, and delay.”

Although AB 1793 received broad bipartisan support, not all lawmakers agreed with the elimination of past convictions. Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber argued against passage of the measure by his colleagues in the Senate.

 

“This directs us to forget any prior behavior that was illegal,” Nielsen said. “They should not be given a pass.”

With the approval of AB 1793 by both houses of the California legislature, the bill now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown for his approval.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Votes to Legalize Marijuana

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5,871 miles of open Pacific Ocean waters separate the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) from the coast of California. But the 15-island chain that makes up the United States’ westernmost territory is poised to do something no U.S. state has ever done.

On Wednesday, 18 of CNMI’s 20 legislators voted to approve a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use. The bill would also legalize medical cannabis and industrial hemp. And if CNMI Governor Ralph Torres enacts the bill, the territory will make legalization history—twice.

CNMI Would Be First U.S. Jurisdiction to Go From Total Prohibition to Full Legalization

This isn’t the first time CNMI lawmakers attempted to legalize cannabis. As recently as May, the CNMI Senate approved a piece of legislation nearly identical to the House-approved bill. Procedural issues, however, stymied the bill’s progress.

After another false start in the Senate, the House opted to file its own bill. It took less than a week for the full chamber to vote to approve the proposal.

 

That act alone makes CNMI unique among the 9 U.S. states that have legalized adult-use marijuana. Vermont comes closest, having legalized marijuana through a legislative process rather than a ballot initiative. But unlike CNMI’s proposed legislation, Vermont’s law doesn’t establish a retail market. The Mariana Islands’ legislation would.

There’s a second way CNMI would make legalization history if the bill becomes law. Every U.S. state that has legalized adult-use marijuana did so only after establishing a medical cannabis program. But in CNMI, there is no medical marijuana. The territory would be the first U.S. jurisdiction to go from total prohibition to full legalization.

What’s Next for Legal Cannabis in U.S. Territories?

Despite the tremendous distance between the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the continental United States, the territory has been closely watching legal cannabis unfold there. Indeed, the overwhelming support for the proposal in the House is due to lawmakers’ recognizing the significant benefits of legal weed.

 

The full text of the legislation, SB 20-62, cites how states with regulated markets for marijuana “have observed real and significant benefits to public health, safety and quality of life for all residents,” and goes on to list medical benefits like treatments for pain, epilepsy and PTSD, social benefits like a reduction in overdose deaths and lowered crime and economic benefits like tax revenue and job growth.

But the bill still has a couple more hurdles to clear before it becomes law. The CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 is currently on its way back to the Senate for approval. After that, it will head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres, a Republican who has expressed concerns about legalization.

In response to House passage of the bill, Torres stressed the importance of taking “a look at both sides of the coin.” Torres wondered about the crime statistics in states with legal weed and other public safety issues.

 

Whether those reservations would ultimately lead Gov. Torres to veto the legislative effort and oppose the will of CNMI residents, however, remains to be seen. Public hearings about the act had higher attendance than any hearings senators could remember. Initially, legislators had designed the bill as a voter referendum before adopting it in the Senate.

All of the Obstacles To Marijuana Legalization in Georgia

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Four months ago, HT writer Chris Roberts asked if Georgia would be the next state to legalize marijuana. As a resident of Greater Atlanta, I hate to break the news but the answer is “no.” Georgia House Bill 645, allowing for “lawful possession or control of certain amounts of low THC oil” for “certain circumstances” did not pass during the most recent legislative session. Neither did HB 865, which would have made possession of certain quantities of herb a misdemeanor. Even before the vote, the law was given a 7 percent chance of passing.

Just a reminder: This is Georgia we’re talking about. There are not many surprises here.

Changes in the State

That doesn’t mean things aren’t changing. Term-limited Georgia governor Nathan Deal did sign HB 65 into law, which added post-traumatic stress disorder and “intractable pain” to the state’s growing list of conditions considered treatable by cannabis oil. And, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, somewhere around 4,000 people are listed in Georgia’s medical marijuana registry and are carriers of the state’s Low THC Oil Registry Card.

Progress is progress, and in the deeply conservative South, it’s easy to be amazed at the giant steps Georgia has taken to legalize medicinal marijuana, particularly over the past eight years under Governor Deal. But progress isn’t the goal, and while it’s great that we’ve moved the ball forward on legal cannabis, the reality of the current situation here in the Peach State is pretty terrible, thanks to all sorts of problematic issues that hover above like a cloud of mids, keeping everyone stuck in a hazy limbo on exactly where we are now and what will happen next.

 

You could be completely colorblind and still know without a doubt that Georgia is a red state. And there’s a chance it could become significantly redder, depending on the outcome of the upcoming 2018 gubernatorial election.

There’s going to be a runoff on the Republican side between Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Between the two, Cagle is seen as the moderate, even though his recent retaliation toward Delta Airlines over the company’s severing of ties with the National Rifle Association shows that he’s not above grandstanding to please his base when it’s voting/fundraising time. Whether you think that’s the lesser of two evils when compared to Kemp’s primary campaign ads, like the one in which he promised to “round up criminal illegals” in his own big truck might depend on what kinda stuff you like to smoke (from the way things appear it might not even be weed).

Politicians and Pot

Assuming history knows best and Georgia elects another Republican, you can expect Cagle to be more open to expanding the state’s legalization efforts (at least according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution), while Kemp will fight any in-state cannabis cultivation in a state with boundless agricultural capability. Neither of these situations point to the sort of systems in place in states like California prior to wide legalization.

 

It’s unclear what motivates Cagle and Kemp, and those who would support them. But it is notable that an AJC poll of 940 Georgia voters (administered by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center) showed that Georgians like weed: 77 percent of participants said the state’s medical marijuana law should be expanded to “allow the harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana with strict controls.” Even when it comes to recreational and miscellaneous marijuana use, those polled voted 50 percent to 46 percent in favor of legalizing it.

On the other hand, Democrat Stacey Abrams, who won a historic primary to become the nation’s first woman of color to become a state’s major party nominee for governor, seems to be clearly in favor of relaxing marijuana policy in Georgia, and quite heavily. She tweeted in February that with the creation of “a strong substance abuse network,” she would back recreational use, and until then she’d continue to be a supporter of decriminalization, medical marijuana, and local cultivation.

There’s also a lot of conflicting information—and, with that, a lot of confused people. I looked into this back in April, before Governor Deal’s recent PTSD and pain inclusion move. It’s definitely worth educating yourself if you plan to use marijuana, particularly since there seems to be no possible way to legally get it right now.

 

And with all the celebration that occurred when former mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council announced the decriminalization of weed, many people don’t seem to realize that you can absolutely still be arrested for having or smoking it anywhere in the city or state.

To look on the bright side, by signing HB 645, Governor Deal has mandated the creation of a 15-member commission, which will look into how cannabis oil is accessed in Georgia, and spend time evaluating elements such as testing, manufacture, dispensing and security of the current controlled substance. And with the state registry continuing to grow, it will certainly be worth watching to see how the governor’s race affects things, and what else other than peaches Georgia residents might one day be able to grow as a result.

Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20

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With 4/20 right around the corner, the cannabis community has already begun to prepare itself. Surprisingly enough, the unofficial holiday dedicated to tokers around the world has a major impact on several facets society. Cannabis stocks are up, dispensary sales are on the rise and, on a less positive note, cannabis-centric law enforcement is in full effect. In fact, authorities are already starting to warn prospective participants of the holiday. One Kansas town appears to be taking said preemptive measures, as local police tweet warning to weed smokers in preparation for 4/20.

Early Warnings

The Lawrence police department remains proactive in their efforts to prevent stoned driving ahead of the stoner-centric holiday. They took to Twitter to warn the cannabis community of their vigilance, and its safe to say they did not mince words.

“Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the roads,” the tweet said. “Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur.”

Attached to the tweet, was a release from the police department regarding their plans to ramp up patrol, as the number of high-drivers is expected to heavily increase on Friday.

According to the release, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma will collectively be on the lookout for impaired drivers throughout the 4/20 weekend. Particularly, on various highways throughout the aforementioned states.

View image on Twitter

 

Lawrence Police@LawrenceKS_PD

Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the road. Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur-

6:43 AM - Apr 17, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy

 

“Law enforcement across the six-state area will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around city, state and federal highways. Injury and deaths continue to increase from both alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.” Lawrence police said in the release. “Regardless whether a drug is legal or illegal it’s a serious crime to drive while impaired by any drug.”

Final Hit: Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20

While it is certainly important to regulate driving under the influence of marijuana, it’s no coincidence that this stern warning is coming from a police department in a state which still employees some of the most stringent-marijuana laws in the country.

Kansas still remains behind the eight-ball in terms of marijuana legalization, and medicinal cannabis has yet to be legalized. In fact, one Republican lawmaker from Kansas recently found himself in hot water after justifying marijuana prohibition with abhorrent racial remarks.

“One of the reasons why [they outlawed cannabis], I hate to say it,” Representative Steve Alford said back in January, “was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

 

While this notion certainly doesn’t represent the entire state’s view on cannabis, it certainly doesn’t do it justice. Hopefully, Kansas changes its tune on legalizing the plant sooner, rather than later.

Data Shows The Demand For Legal Cannabis Is Increasing

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Demand for legal cannabis continues to show a steady increase, according to new data from Anderson Economic Group (AEG). In particular, the data reveals a significant jump since the 2016 elections, when a number of states passed new legalization laws.

Digging Into the Data

According to AEG’s AndCan Index, which tracks trends in the marijuana industry, the first part of 2018 showed a small uptick in the demand for legal cannabis products. In particular, the report found a 0.1 percent increase in the U.S. demand for legal weed in January of this year.

On its own, that figure is obviously not impressive. But the relatively slow start to 2018 is an anomaly in the context of larger trends, more dramatic trends.

“While 2018 has gotten off to a slow start, the demand for legal cannabis products is poised for even further growth in the coming months,” AEG consultant Traci Giroux said in a press release. “The recreational market in California will start to settle, and the market in Massachusetts is expected to come online this July.”

Despite the tiny uptick in January, the cannabis market has been showing steady growth for years. Since the beginning of 2015, the demand for legal weed in the U.S. has grown by 25.8 percent. Similarly, demand is up almost 11 percent since this time last year.

 

In the timeline of legal cannabis, 2016 was a standout year. That’s because a number of states voted to legalize new marijuana bills during that year’s elections.

More specifically, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, and Maine voted to legalize recreational weed. Additionally, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota all managed to pass new medical marijuana laws.

As a result of all those legislative changes, 1 in 5 Americans now has access to some form of legal cannabis, whether recreational or medical.

Not surprisingly, these new markets have contributed to the rise in demand for legal weed. And the experts at AEG expect that demand to keep rising. That’s especially true as more and more states continue to loosen their cannabis laws.

 

Final Hit: Data Shows The Demand For Legal Cannabis Is Increasing

One of the biggest changes to the national weed scene this year was the rollout of legal recreational cannabis in California. Retail sales began at the beginning of 2018. Close on California’s heels, Massachusetts is also expected to get its retail program up and running this year.

Earlier in 2018, Vermont lawmakers voted to legalize recreational weed. There are also at least 12 other states that could see marijuana bills on the ballot this year.

All of these changes could add to the spiking demand for legal weed. But at the same time, the Trump administration continues to generate uncertainty. A lot of the confusion and concern coming from industry players has to do with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Sessions has long been an outspoken opponent of cannabis. He once said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Earlier this year, he suggested that cannabis is one of the primary causes of the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo at the very beginning of January. The Cole Memo is an Obama-era policy that directs federal agencies to take a “hands-off” approach to dealing with states where weed is legal. By rescinding the Cole Memo, Sessions may have opened the door to a federal crackdown on weed-legal states.

Michigan May Legalize Recreational Marijuana Before November Ballot

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What seems on its surface like an early win for cannabis advocates in Michigan may, in fact, be an attempt to rig the state’s upcoming general election. The question of legalizing recreational marijuana will appear on the November ballot, and voters are expected to turn out to register their support. But the prospect of higher voter turnout has some GOP lawmakers in Lansing worried. Concerned better turnout could impact other races, they’ve begun discussing ways to take legalization off the ballot. But broad support for the issue leaves them with just one move. And that’s why Michigan may legalize recreational marijuana before November ballot.

In A Bid To Suppress Voter Turnout, GOP Lawmakers Want To Legalize Weed Early

Historically, higher voter turnouts tend to favor more liberal or progressive candidates. In other words, more voters typically means more Democrats in office.

No wonder Republican-controlled state legislatures have made voter-suppression tactics a staple of their political strategy. And their efforts have accelerated in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Voter-suppression tactics include things like closing polling locations, issuing strict ID laws, voter purging and disenfranchisement. Gerrymandering, or the redrawing of election districts to favor particular candidates, is another way of distorting democratic representation.

And in these areas, Michigan is one of the worst. In December 2016, Michigan’s Republican-led House passed some of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws in the face of strong objections from Democrats and civil society groups. ID requirements tend to make it harder for minority, elderly, and student voters—groups that tend to vote Democrat—to cast their ballots.

 

And in April 2017, The Center for Michigan found that gerrymandering in the state is among the nation’s worst. The report shows how districts dramatically and disproportionately favor Republicans.

Put plainly, Michigan Republicans have a documented history of using extreme voter-suppression tactics. And one could argue these have already had a major impact on U.S. democracy. Donald Trump won Michigan by just 10,704 votes.

GOP Lawmakers In Lansing Fear Putting Legal Weed On The Ballot Could Flip The House

The fewer voters the better, as far as GOP lawmakers in Michigan are concerned. But nothing tends to rock the vote quite like a vote on legal recreational marijuana.

All the recent polls show overwhelming support for legal recreational in Michigan. So much so, in fact, that if the vote were to happen today, the measure would pass overwhelmingly.

But polls show another interesting thing about the issue of legal weed in Michigan. Namely, that it could drive voter turnout enough to impact other races.

 

And in an unpredictable election year many feel could be a wave election flipping state assemblies for the Democrats, some Republicans are viewing the pot voter boost as a legitimate concern.

A few GOP lawmakers in Lansing have already begun discussing whether they should attempt to legalize weed through a legislative process ahead of the state’s general election in November.

In other words, Michigan may legalize recreational marijuana before November ballot in an attempt to keep voters who would otherwise come out to support the ballot, home

Experts expect races will be tight this November. So even a two to three percent boost in voter turnout could make the difference in many districts and cause Republicans to lose the House.

The Final Hit: Michigan May Legalize Recreational Marijuana Before November Ballot

So far, the question of whether to legislatively pass recreational cannabis has been a behind-closed-doors topic among Republican lawmakers. “I don’t think it’s reached critical mass at this point,” said political consultant Dennis Darnoi.

Indeed, deep divisions persist among the caucus over the issue of recreational weed. But concerns over losing the House might be enough to overcome them. Michigan Republicans have previously tried to move a legalization bill through the legislature with no success.

Recreational Marijuana Isn’t Legal in Florida

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Recreational marijuana isn’t legal in Florida, despite a widely shared online report that the Legislature had passed a measure legalizing use.

The website yourdailyideas, in a story dated from Orlando, Florida, reported lawmakers had agreed on legalization to “jump-start the economy.”

First, Florida’s Legislature and governor are based in the capital, Tallahassee. And lawmakers did not act on any recreational marijuana bills, said Karol Molinares, deputy communications director for the Florida House of Representatives’ Democratic Office.

Seventy-one percent of Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment for the legalization of medical marijuana. Lawmakers produced a bill in the next session to implement rules and regulations. However, Molinares said lawmakers couldn’t agree on the number of retail locations that would be allowed to open.

The Department of Health has been tasked with drawing up and implementing new rules.

Marijuana for medical use has been available in the state to those who qualify; registered patients in the state have had access to medical marijuana since 2017.

This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Legislative Roundup: Marijuana in California, Hawaii, Georgiav

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California’s legislative effort to provide a temporary tax cut for recreational marijuana advances, Hawaiian legislation addressing patient reciprocity is referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and a Georgia initiative to amend the state’s Low THC Oil Patient Registry gets a vote.

Marijuana policy is in a constant state of legislative flux. While some states have legalized cannabis for medicinal use, others have passed laws allowing for recreational consumption. In either event, elected officials around the country are routinely proposing, updating, and modifying their legislative agendas to reform America’s marijuana laws. In an effort to keep our community informed, Marijuana.com will now provide a weekly update on the legislative efforts of our elected officials.

While the politics of cannabis ebbs and flows in 2018, the legislative calendar for America’s lawmakers is packed with marijuana legislation.

California

 

Last Thursday, legislation that would cut the recreational marijuana sales tax rate from 15 percent to 11 percent and suspend all cultivation taxes for threes years, was referred to the Assembly’s Committee on Revenue and Taxation. Assembly Bill 3157, co-sponsored by Rob Bonta (D- 18th District), Ken Cooley (D- 8th District), Reggie Jones-Sawyer Sr. (D- 59th District), Tom Lackey (R- 36th District), and Jim Wood (D- 2nd District), would temporarily modify the current tax structure so California’s legal adult-use market can compete against black market sales.

Hawaii

 

 

Last Friday, a bill addressing medical marijuana reciprocity, THC potency, and employment metabolite testing was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. In addition to allowing authorized medical marijuana visitors to access Hawaiian dispensaries, House Bill 2729 would allow the Department of Health to extend the maximum period of validity of any written certification to three years for those with chronic medical conditions.

Georgia

 

Georgia House Bill 65, passed by the Senate on Friday with a 29-16 vote, would broaden the legal parameters for medical marijuana use and would allow state-sanctioned patients to utilize low THC oil to combat a host of debilitating diseases. After first receiving the proverbial green light from elected officials in George’s House of Representatives (156-6), HB 65 is now headed for the governor’s desk where Zell Miller will either sign or veto the bill.

On the calendar

Marijuana legislation will receive a hearing this week in Colorado, Arizona, Montana and New Hampshire.

Colorado’s Senate Business Labor and Technology Committee will consider SB 211 on Monday at noon. The legislation would authorize and permit licensing for marijuana consumption within specific clubs.

Before Arizona’s Senate Rules Committee at 1 p.m.  Monday, House Bill 2067 addresses doctors that offer unlawful medical marijuana recommendations. Considered a partisan bill, HB 2067 was passed by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 14, by a 5-2 vote.

A Missouri bill seeks to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp. HB 2034, passed by the House of Representatives in late February, will receive a hearing today at 2 p.m. before the Missouri Senate’s committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources.

On Tuesday, New Hampshire’s SB 380 will receive a hearing at 1:15 p.m. before the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs. The legislation seeks to amend state law governing the use the of medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes, “clarifying certain information on the registry identification cards and designated caregivers for minors.”