Tax and Regulate

MPP to Support Newly Filed CA Legalization Initiative

November 4th, 2015 4 Comments » Marijuana Policy Project

California voters are ready to end marijuana prohibition in 2016 and replace it with a more sensible system. That is exactly what the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will do, and that is why MPP is proud to support it.california-160550_640 We look forward to working with the initiative proponents and doing whatever we can to help pass this measure and make history in California next year.

Under the proposed initiative, marijuana will be regulated, taxed, and treated similarly to alcohol. Adults will no longer be punished simply for possessing it, and law enforcement officials will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes. It will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and marijuana cultivation out of our national forests. The fact that it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year is a huge bonus that will benefit all Californians.

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Tax and Regulate

Ohio Issue 3 Defeat Will Not Impact 2016 Initiatives

November 4th, 2015 17 Comments » Morgan Fox

Last night, a controversial Ohio ballot initiative that would have regulated marijuana for adults was voted down by a relatively wide margin, marking the first time that a major state referendum to make marijuana legal for adults has failed since 2010.2000px-Seal_of_Ohio.svg However, the defeat of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the Buckeye State will have no bearing on the outcomes of several marijuana-related initiatives expected to appear on state ballots next year.

A proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol has already qualified for the November 2016 ballot in Nevada, and similar measures are expected to qualify for the ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts. The measures do not include the widely unpopular “monopoly” language included in the 2015 Ohio initiative that limited the commercial cultivation of marijuana to only 10 predetermined producers. The 2016 initiatives are also expected to benefit significantly from heightened voter turnout during a presidential election.

MPP is supporting several of the 2016 initiative efforts. We neither supported nor opposed the Ohio initiative this year.

“It’s pretty obvious that the outcome in Ohio does not reflect where the nation stands or the direction in which it is heading when it comes to marijuana policy,” said MPP’s Mason Tvert. “It only reflects where Ohio voters stand on a specific and rather unique proposal in an off-year election. It will not have any bearing on the outcomes of the initiatives that we expect to appear on other states’ ballots in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tax and Regulate

Maine Marijuana Initiative Campaigns Join Forces for 2016

October 26th, 2015 1 Comment » Morgan Fox

Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backed by MPP,ME Release Header - NEW will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine. Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Legal Adult Marijuana Sales to Begin in Oregon Tomorrow

September 30th, 2015 5 Comments » Robert Capecchi

Beginning tomorrow, adults 21 and older in Oregon will be able to legally purchase limited quantities of marijuana and marijuana plants from certain medical marijuana dispensaries. This allowance, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Kate Brown,flagfrontbig gives adults a legal and regulated access point to purchase marijuana while the state develops the regulatory structure that will govern the marijuana market moving forward.

Individuals 21 and older will be allowed to purchase up to seven grams of marijuana and up to four seedlings from participating medical marijuana dispensaries. The state requires a dispensary to post a sign indicating whether they sell to recreational customers or if they limit sales to medical marijuana patients and caregivers, but it will not keep a list of dispensaries that have chosen to open their doors to all adults 21 and older.

Please remember that it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in public. Violators may be issued a Class B violation, which is akin to a traffic ticket. For more information, please visit the Oregonian’s FAQ page.

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Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Washington to Issue Additional Marijuana Retail Licenses

September 24th, 2015 No Comments Robert Capecchi

On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced the adoption of emergency rules that will allow the agency to begin the process of licensing additional retail establishments that will sell both medical and adult-use marijuana.LCB Existing Washington retail stores can apply for a medical marijuana endorsement as well.

The application window opens October 12. The WSLCB has not capped the number of licenses they will approve initially. Please note that existing dispensaries “must be licensed by July 1, 2016 or face closure by local authorities.” The WSLCB also announced that medical cooperatives can register with the agency after July 1, 2016.

The emergency rules allow the WSLCB to move forward while giving officials and the public ample time to read, digest, and comment on the draft rules before they become final. Please visit the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s website for further details on licensure and to comment on the draft rules.

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Tax and Regulate

Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Kicks Off Signature Drive

September 23rd, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

Massachusetts Rep. Jay Livingstone, and Regina Hufnagel, a former federal corrections officer, joined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol at a news conference Tuesday in front of the State House to kick off the signature drive in support of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts.

Sen. Will Brownsberger and Rep. David Rogers were among the first to sign the petition and offered statements in support of the initiative.

The campaign must collect the signatures of 64,750 registered Massachusetts voters by November 18 to place the measure in front of the Massachusetts Legislature. If the legislature does not adopt the measure, initiative backers must collect 10,792 signatures in June 2016 to place the initiative on the November 2016 ballot.

Here is Sen. Brownsberger speaking with NECN:

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont Attorney General Predicts Legislature Will Legalize Marijuana 2016

September 22nd, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox
Attorney General Bill Sorrell

While many states will be considering making marijuana legal in 2016, Vermont may be the first to do so through its legislature. MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon is so optimistic that he is moving to the state from nearby New Hampshire in order to spend more time working with lawmakers there. Now, the state’s attorney general has predicted that Vermont will make history next year. reports:

[Attorney General Bill] Sorrell said in an interview Tuesday that while he doesn’t have any “insider information,” it’s his belief that the General Assembly will pass, and the governor will sign, legislation to legalize and regulate the recreational use and sale of marijuana during the upcoming legislative session.

While no “prominent Vermonter” has told him that marijuana will be legalized, his reading of the tea leaves (“or the marijuana leaves,” he quipped) is that this is the year for legalization.

“Let me put it this way, I will be surprised if marijuana is not legalized in this next legislative session,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont House Speaker Supports Legalization

September 1st, 2015 4 Comments » Morgan Fox

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith, previously undecided about whether to support a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol, has put his support behind such a measure for the 2016 session

VT House Speaker Shap Smith (photo: Ben Sarle) .

Vermont Public Radio reports:

For months, Smith has taken a “wait and see” position concerning the legalization of marijuana. He said he wanted to remain undecided until Vermont lawmakers could closely evaluate the experience of Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized marijuana for more than a year.

Smith is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2016, and this legislation could be become a campaign issue.

Smith says he thinks it makes sense for Vermont to legalize marijuana if it can be done with a thoughtful approach.

“It’s clear to me in my discussions with Vermonters that in general, the people in this state probably favor legalization,” Smith said on VPR’s Vermont Edition on Aug. 28. “And I certainly believe that we can legalize marijuana if we do it right 
 we’ve seen what has happened in Colorado and Washington, and we can learn from their experiences.”

Earlier this year, Sen. David Zuckerman and Rep. Chris Pearson introduced legislation to regulate marijuana, but the session adjourned before they were able to get a vote.

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Tax and Regulate, Video

Arizona Campaign Could Earn More Than $40 Million for Schools

August 20th, 2015 6 Comments » Morgan Fox

UPDATE: The Grand Canyon Institute, an independent Arizona-based think tank, has released a report that concludes the proposed initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Arizona would likely raise more money for schools than backers of the initiative estimated last month.

According to a press release issued by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:

According to the Grand Canyon Institute, a “centrist think-thank led by a bipartisan group of former state lawmakers, economists, community leaders, and academicians,” tax revenue from the initiative would initially generate $64 million annually, including $51 million for K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs. It estimates that by 2019, once the new system is fully rolled out, it would raise $72 million per year, including approximately $58 million for public education.

“The Grand Canyon Institute
finds that the revenue projections were conservative as proponents claimed,” the report reads. “The revenue gains do exceed the $40 million espoused by proponents of the initiative.”


The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona held a press conference at the State Capitol Wednesday to highlight the fact that the initiative would generate more than $40 million in annual funding for public education in Arizona.

The initiative includes a 15% tax on retail marijuana sales, and 80% of that funding would be allocated to public schools and full-day kindergarten programs.

The campaign conservatively estimates that this tax would generate more than $40 million each year, and it could be an even higher amount than that.

KTVK reports: 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Colorado Court Overturns Marijuana Conviction

August 20th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

In what hopefully becomes a trend in other states, a Colorado court has overturned a marijuana conviction275px-Colorado_Court_of_Appeals that occurred just after the passage of Amendment 64.

Huffington Post reports:

A state appeals court has overturned the marijuana conviction of a Colorado woman who was sentenced and convicted for marijuana possession just days after voters approved a measure legalizing recreational marijuana in the state almost three years ago — retroactively applying the law to her case. 

Citing a decision in a previous case, the appeals court ruled that convicted criminal defendants should receive “benefit of amendatory legislation which became effective at any time before the conviction became final on appeal,” the opinion, issued last week, reads.

Read the rest of this entry »

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