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.
We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip away, so please also consider supporting the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana with a donation.
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.
As we celebrate this history-making progress, make a contribution to MPP to help us support smooth implementation of the law.
Big news! Lawmakers in Springfield just approved legislation to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has championed legalization.
With the governor's signature, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize marijuana for adults and the first to approve legal sales through the state legislature rather than a ballot measure. Legal marijuana sales are scheduled to begin on January 1, 2020.
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) will legalize the possession and purchase of up to 30 grams of marijuana for adults and establish an inclusive, regulated market for cultivators, processors, retail stores, and testing labs.
Crafting a bill that could get past the finish line involved a long and difficult negotiation process. Although we weren't able to get everything we hoped to see (such as home cultivation and delivery for adults), the bill is an enormous step forward. It will help hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans and set a new standard for addressing the harms caused by decades of marijuana prohibition.
The CRTA includes far-reaching expungement provisions, funding for communities hard hit by the drug war, and assistance to business applicants operated by those harmed by prohibition or from areas of disproportionate impact. It also legalizes home cultivation for patients. Read a complete summary of the legislation here.
This victory is the result of a collective effort, and there are so many to thank for their support: MPP donors who made our years-long advocacy effort possible; legislative champions Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Toi Hutchinson, and Rep. Jehan Gordon; Gov. Pritzker; our dedicated lobbyists Pete Baroni and Kareem Kenyatta; Sen. Steans' cannabis policy staffer Rose Ashby; Clergy for a New Drug Policy; and all the individuals and organizations who worked to move the legislation forward.
We wouldn't be able to do this work without the support of those who contribute. Please consider making a donation today to help us ensure Illinois' legalization law is implemented quickly and smoothly, and to help us roll back prohibition in other states.
With only three days left until the legislature adjourns, the Illinois House and Senate could vote on legalizing marijuana any day. This would be the first time ever that a state legislature (as opposed to voters) legalized adult-use marijuana sales.
Make sure your legislators are on the right side of history. Write them today!
State lawmakers really do listen to voters, and just a handful of calls and emails per district can make all the difference. The vote is expected to be close.
Not only would Senate Bill 7 legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older, it would create the best legalization law so far in terms of addressing the harms inflicted by cannabis prohibition. Senate Bill 7:
- Includes robust expungement provisions to stop derailing dreams of those with past cannabis convictions;
- Directs a significant amount of the tax revenue to communities that have been hard-hit by the drug war; and
- Includes groundbreaking measures to ensure an inclusive, equitable industry. Equity applicants — those directly harmed by cannabis prohibition or from communities most harmed by it — will pay lower fees, be eligible for low-interest loans, and will get points on their applications.
Although the votes weren’t there to allow home cultivation for all adults, the bill also includes home cultivation for medical cannabis patients. Patients would also be exempt from all adult-use taxes.
In New Jersey, hopes of legalizing marijuana in 2018 or 2019 were dashed when the vote count came up a few votes shy. Don’t let this chance to end prohibition in Illinois slip away: Write your lawmakers today. Then, rally your friends to do the same: Share this on social media or by email.
Analysis: Michigan legalization measure would generate $520 million in new tax revenue over five years
A recent study of the potential fiscal impacts of legalizing marijuana in Michigan found that passage of Prop 1 would generate over half a billion dollars in additional revenue for the state in the first five years of implementation. Read local coverage of the analysis here.
Much of the revenue generated from marijuana would be directed to Michigan’s roads, schools, and local communities, which are currently underfunded.
The report, conducted by marijuana policy consulting firm VS Strategies, made predictions based on a model that drew upon analysis of multiple data sources. By 2023, the study predicts that total annual marijuana sales will exceed $800 million in Michigan. Read the detailed findings of the analysis here.
Election Day is just over a month away, and voters will soon be receiving absentee ballots. There’s not much time left, and the YES on 1 campaign needs your help to ensure the measure passes. Chip in with a contribution today to help them dispel the fear tactics and propaganda of their prohibitionist opponents.
Last week, new estimates of the tax revenue that Colorado stands to gain from legal marijuana sales were released, and they are significantly greater than originally thought.
Watch MPP's Mason Tvert discuss these revenue projections and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's plans for the extra money on CNN: