Tax and Regulate

Connecticut must take action to regulate cannabis

As the rest of the region moves forward, the Nutmeg State should not remain an island of prohibition — please contact your representatives and senators today!

Massachusetts recently concluded its first year of retail cannabis sales to adults, and the results are in: nearly $400 million in sales, an estimated $67 million in state tax revenue, and up to $11.8 million in tax revenue for municipalities. There are still only about 35 retail stores open in the state, up from the original two that opened last November, so it’s clear that this is only the beginning.

Connecticut urgently needs to follow the Bay State’s example. Gov. Lamont has said that he will ask the legislature to pass a bill legalizing and regulating cannabis when it convenes in February, but the governor won’t be able to make it happen by himself — his voice will need to be joined by a chorus of strong support from the public.

Please email your elected officials right now and urge them to support ending marijuana prohibition in 2020!

After you write your legislators, please “like” our coalition on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and share this message with your family and friends!

We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip away, so please also consider supporting the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana with a donation.

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Tax and Regulate

Gov. Raimondo says adult-use legalization in Rhode Island may be on the horizon

In a recent appearance on WPRI’s Newsmakers, Gov. Raimondo indicated that she will reintroduce a plan to legalize marijuana for adults in her budget proposal for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in early January.

Pointing to the General Assembly’s recent decision to add six new compassion centers, she said, “Last year we made a step forward with more medical [marijuana], and I think the next logical step is adult use.” She also referenced recent conversations with the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, indicating that pressure from neighboring states makes legalization more likely in Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts saw nearly half a billion dollars in retail sales at legal marijuana businesses over the past year, which equates to roughly $67 million in new tax revenue for the state. This figure exceeds previous projections from officials.

In other news, the Department of Business Regulation recently proposed new regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program, including a plan to implement a lottery system for awarding new compassion center licenses to qualified applicants. The public comment period for these rules will extend until December 21, and the department will hold a hearing on December 6. More details can be found here.

Though it is difficult to predict whether Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio will have the appetite for legalization in 2020, the pressure to act continues to mount.

Stay tuned for more updates and calls to action soon.

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Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Public hearing TOMORROW on vape ban!

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, please testify in person or submit written testimony.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is holding a public hearing tomorrow on the vape ban, and your opinion matters. Testing has shown that tainted vape products are being sold by underground sources, so it is critical for regulators to understand the need for regulated products that have been tested and shown to be free of contaminants.

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, this is a great opportunity to share your perspective with policymakers in person or in writing. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public hearing on regulation of vaping products

WHERE: Public Health Council Room, second floor of the Department of Public Health Building, 250 Washington Street, Boston

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To submit written testimony, which will accepted until 5 p.m., send email to Reg.Testimony@state.ma.us. “Vaping products regulation” should be in the subject line, and department officials ask that all submissions include the sender’s full name and address.

In other news, it has now been one full year since the advent of retail sales to adults. As the Boston Globe has reportedthere are now 33 stores open, and the state has logged $393.7 million in sales, suggesting that the program — despite its slow start — has produced nearly $67 million in state revenue and up to $11.8 in revenue for municipalities.

Please share this important news with your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island: Your legislators need to hear from you about marijuana legalization

If you live in Rhode Island, click here to send a message to your state senator and representative.

We’re just over halfway through this year’s legislative session, and the fate of legalization remains uncertain. A clear majority of Rhode Islanders are ready to end the failed policy of prohibition, but lawmakers may not act unless they hear from their constituents. Help us move the issue forward and contact your state legislators.

Rhode Island will only dig itself into a deeper hole if the General Assembly fails to pass a legalization law this year. Multiple states around us are moving forward with marijuana policy reform legislation, and if Rhode Island becomes an island of prohibition, the state will lose out on an opportunity to gain a foothold in the fastest growing economic sector in the country.

Gov. Raimondo’s proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana could be improved in several ways, and as we advocate for passage of a legalization law this year, we must also urge the General Assembly to adopt amendments around medical marijuana patient access, competition and fairness within the market, and provisions to address the historical injustices of marijuana prohibition.

We need supporters of sensible marijuana policy to take action. Without a broad push for legalization, Rhode Island will continue spinning its wheels while Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other New England states move forward. We need progress this year, and you can help make it happen by sending a message to your state legislators right now.

Thank you.

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont: New year brings new hope for cannabis regulation

If you live in Vermont, contact your newly elected state legislators today — tell them it’s time for Vermont to finish the job and regulate cannabis in 2019!

Cannabis has been legal for adults in Vermont to grow and possess in limited quantities since July 1, 2018, but our work in Montpelier is far from complete. Since policymakers have not yet created a legal, regulated cannabis market, Vermonters continue to miss out on the business and job opportunities, tax revenue, consumer protections, and other benefits that are already being realized in other U.S. states and Canada.

Vermont’s legislative session starts tomorrow, January 9. Please email your newly elected state legislators today and urge them to support efforts to regulate cannabis in 2019!

Now that retail stores have opened in Massachusetts, it’s clear that the political winds in Montpelier are blowing strongly in the right direction. Unfortunately, Gov. Phil Scott still has not come around in support of cannabis regulation, and we know that the prohibitionists won’t go away without a fight. Please help us finish the job and make history by contributing to support our efforts!

After you email your state legislators and make a contribution to our campaign, please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana!

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.’s 2019 legislative session has begun: Take action TODAY and help legalize marijuana!

If you live in Rhode Island, use our simple email action tool to contact your state representative and senator and urge them to make legalization a priority in 2019.

Last week, Rhode Island’s 2019 General Assembly session officially commenced. It’s time to start putting pressure on legislators to make legalizing marijuana for adult use a top priority this year.

Take action now and send a message to your state legislators!

Now that state-licensed marijuana stores have opened in Massachusetts, and Connecticut’s new governor has pledged to make ending prohibition a top priority, there’s much speculation about whether Rhode Island will move forward this year.

Lawmakers are unlikely to act without pressure from their constituents. Take one minute to send your elected officials an email and let them know why it’s time to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.

We’ve been building momentum for legalization in Rhode Island for years, and we have a good feeling about this legislative session.

Let’s make it happen in 2019.

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Medical Marijuana

Maine: Medical marijuana omnibus bill goes into effect today

LD 1539 improves Maine’s medical marijuana program for patients and industry

Today, the omnibus medical marijuana bill that was passed last spring goes into effect. The bill makes major improvements to Maine’s medical marijuana program. Among some of the changes, the legislation:

  • removes the qualifying condition list so that any Mainer can use medical marijuana so long as their doctor thinks it would be helpful for them;
  • eliminates the requirement that a patient must designate a caregiver or dispensary as their sole provider, allowing for more patient choice;
  • adds two more dispensaries to the existing eight dispensaries and removes the cap on the dispensaries after January 1, 2021; and
  • allows for caregivers to open storefront businesses.

More than two years since Maine voters legalized marijuana for adults, adult-use stores have still not opened, largely due to obstruction from departing Gov. Paul LePage. In the meantime, these changes will help improve and expand medical cannabis access, including by making it more affordable.

As for the adult-use program, the state has recently hired BOTEC, out of Washington State, to help write the rules governing commercial marijuana. A significant amount of “rulemaking” has been done at the committee level, and we hope this work is respected. We hope the new governor, Janet Mills, will work diligently to get Maine’s new program off the ground. Please send her team an email, asking for marijuana legalization to be a year one priority.

Adult-use sales are up and running in all three other states where voters legalized marijuana in 2016 — California, Nevada, and Massachusetts. In Nevada, sales began more than a year ago. Please ask Gov.-elect Mills to move forward promptly, and share this with friends and family in Maine.

 

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.: Ask friends and family in Seekonk, Mass. to vote NO on proposal to ban marijuana facilities TOMORROW

local special election will determine the fate of marijuana facilities in Seekonk, Massachusetts tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4. Please help us spread the word and make sure your friends and family vote NO on the proposed ban! Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Avenue.

The vote is taking place despite the fact that a proposal to ban adult-use marijuana retail and cultivation facilities was rejected at a recent town meeting on November 19. Town officials, however, have insisted that a special election is still necessary.

Tonight, residents of Newburyport will also have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a possible ballot question to ban marijuana businesses at the town meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

Please alert people you know who live in either of these towns and share the news on social media!

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Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Seekonk to vote on proposal to ban marijuana facilities TOMORROW

A local special election will determine the fate of marijuana facilities in Seekonk, Massachusetts tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4. If you live in Seekonk, please make a plan to vote NO and reject the proposed ban. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Avenue.

If you’re not a resident of Seekonk, help us spread the word and make sure your friends and family reject this proposal!

The vote is taking place despite the fact that a proposal to ban adult-use marijuana retail and cultivation facilities was rejected at a recent town meeting on November 19. Town officials, however, have insisted that a special election is still necessary.

Tonight, residents of Newburyport will also have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a possible ballot question to ban marijuana businesses at the town meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

Please alert people you know who live in either of these towns and share the news on social media!

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont election fuels optimism as regulated sales begin in New England

Study commission announces five listening sessions; call Gov. Scott today!

Possession and limited cultivation of cannabis has been legal for adults in Vermont since July 1, but sales in the state remain illicit, unregulated, and untaxed. Fortunately, the November election paved the way for the state to legalize and regulate retail sales in 2019. The Vermont Democratic Party officially endorsed legalization and regulation at its convention in August, and then it expanded its legislative majorities in November, increasing the likelihood that the House and Senate will agree to pass a cannabis regulation bill.

Unfortunately, Gov. Phil Scott, who was re-elected, has said that he thinks Vermont “isn’t ready” for retail cannabis. However, now that sales to adults have begun in Massachusetts and Canada, he may be convinced to evolve on the issue in 2019.

Please call Gov. Scott’s office today and respectfully urge him to support regulating cannabis in Vermont!

Gov. Scott needs to hear that regulating cannabis will create jobs, spur economic development, and produce tax revenue while taking money and power away from organized crime. If he isn’t willing to evolve, we may need to override his veto by earning support from two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.

Additionally, the study commission has announced that it will be holding five listening sessions around the state. All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m., and members of the public will be welcome to comment.

• Monday, November 26 in Rutland – Asa Bloomer Building, 2nd Floor, Room 266, 88 Merchants Row
• Wednesday, November 28 in Williston – Williston Central School Auditorium, 195 Central School Drive
• Monday, December 3 – Morse Center, Black Box Theatre, St. Johnsbury Academy, 1000 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT
• Wednesday, December 5 – Vermont Veteran’s Home, 325 North Street, Bennington, VT
• Thursday, December 6 – White River Junction National Guard Armory, 240 Main Street, White River Junction, VT

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