Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Legal Adult Marijuana Sales to Begin in Oregon Tomorrow

September 30th, 2015 No 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 Marijuana Made Legal in 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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Tax and Regulate

Ohioans Will Vote on Marijuana Initiative This November

August 14th, 2015 7 Comments Brendan Valentine

On Wednesday, Ohio’s secretary of state certified ResponsibleOhio’s proposed constitutional amendment to appear on the ballot this November.

The proposal would legalize marijuana in Ohio, making it the first state to do so without first having a medical marijuana program. It would also be the first state east of the Mississippi to replace marijuana prohibition with regulation.

If approved by the voters, the proposal would:

— amend the Ohio Constitution to allow marijuana to be taxed, regulated, and sold in stores,
— allow commercial cannabis to be grown by just 10 farms, with the parcels specified in the measure,
— allow no more than one marijuana store for every 10,000 Ohioans (about 1,160),
— allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana,
— allow adults to cultivate up to four flowering plants and possess eight ounces of harvested cannabis if they purchase a $50 license, and
— establish a medical marijuana program.

Ohioans will be voting on the proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday, November 3. They will also consider the Ohio Initiated Monopolies measure — Issue 2 — which the legislature placed on the ballot in response to the marijuana initiative. That measure requires two separate votes to enact a measure that establishes a monopoly or oligopoly. It could invalidate the marijuana initiative if both are enacted.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Denver Campaign for Limited Social Use Submits Signatures

August 10th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

The Denver Campaign for Limited Social Use submitted more than 10,000 signatures Monday in support of a city initiative that would allow the limited social use — but not sale — of marijuana at commercial establishments in areas restricted to adults 21 and older.

Campaign for Limited Social Use’s Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente

4,726 valid signatures of registered city voters are needed to qualify for the November 2015 ballot. The city clerk has 25 days to certify the petition.

Under the proposed measure, businesses that have a license to sell alcohol for onsite consumption would be able to decide whether to allow cannabis consumption on the premises. Businesses that choose to allow only cannabis consumption (without licensed alcohol consumption) would be subject to regulation by the city, including restrictions on location and hours of operation. All commercial establishments that allow adults to use marijuana would be required to comply with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which means (1) only non-smokable forms of marijuana would be allowed indoors, and (2) smoking marijuana would only be allowed in existing designated smoking areas that are not viewable to the public.

A strong majority (56%) of likely 2015 voters in Denver support the proposed initiative, according to a survey conducted in June by Public Policy Polling. Just 40% are opposed. The full results are available here.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

New York Times Publishes Another Editorial In Favor of Regulating Marijuana

August 10th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Saturday, The New York Times repeated its editorial support for ending marijuana prohibition, New-York-Times-Logothis time calling on Congress and President Obama to be less timid in their support for regulating marijuana.

Even as support for ending marijuana prohibition is building around the country, Congress and the Obama administration remain far too timid about the need for change.

Last year, residents in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia voted to join Colorado and Washington State in making recreational use of marijuana legal. Later this year, residents of Ohio are expected to vote on a ballot measure that would legalize it. Nevadans will vote on a legalization proposal next year. And Californians could vote on several similar measures next year.

Instead of standing by as change sweeps the country, federal lawmakers should be more actively debating and changing the nation’s absurd marijuana policies, policies that have ruined millions of lives and wasted billions of dollars.

You can read the full editorial here.

In July 2014, the paper of record published a series of editorials covering a variety of marijuana policy issues and supporting making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it similarly to alcohol.


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