Archive for the ‘Tax and Regulate’ category

New Hampshire Poll Shows Growing Support for Legalization

April 10th, 2014

The annual WMUR Granite State Poll released Wednesday by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows a growing majority of New Hampshire adults support making marijuana legal and regulating it like alcohol.

The survey found 55% percent support making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal in New Hampshire — up from 53% in 2013 — and 67% approve of marijuana being sold in licensed retail outlets and taxed at levels similar to alcohol if marijuana possession becomes legal.

The poll also found that three out of five New Hampshire adults (61%) support House Bill 1625, a measure approved by the State House of Representatives and now being considered by the Senate that would reduce the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a $100 civil fine. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.

The poll of 510 randomly selected New Hampshire adults was conducted March 24-April 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%. The entire poll is available at http://cola.unh.edu/survey-center/most-granite-staters-support-changes-states-marijuana-laws-4914.

 

Rhode Island ReportShows Taxing Marijuana Could Generate Tens of Millions in Revenue

April 10th, 2014

A report released yesterday by Rhode Island-based OpenDoors estimates that passage of the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act will generate between $21.5 to $82 million in annual tax revenue. Although it would not completely solve Rhode Island’s budget woes, revenue from legal sales of marijuana to adults could help ease the financial burdens the state is facing.
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Every day across Rhode Island, otherwise law-abiding men and women purchase and consume marijuana illegally. Proceeds from these sales go untaxed and only serve to enrich criminal actors. Bringing adult marijuana sales above board allows the state to tax both wholesale and retail marijuana transactions and provides much greater transparency over who sells it, where, and to whom. 

In addition to the generating revenue, passage of the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act will create hundreds of jobs in an emerging industry.

New Hampshire Legalization Bill Making Progress In Legislature

March 19th, 2014

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee voted to amend HB 492, which would make marijuana legal and regulate it like alcohol, in order to simplify the tax structure and regulatory language. The committee then voted 14-5 to recommend that the House not pass the bill, which would also allow people 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The House is not bound by this recommendation, and will vote on whether the bill should progress to the Senate soon.

The committee’s amended bill taxes and regulates marijuana by imposing a standardized $60 per ounce tax on growers. Advocates claim the tax will generate approximately $25 to $30 million annually.

MPP’s Matt Simon commented that, “Even with a negative recommendation, this thoughtful amendment will make it much more likely that the bill will receive continued support from the rest of the Legislature. We are optimistic that New Hampshire lawmakers will recognize that their constituents do not want to see adults arrested for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

When the bill returns to the House, it will have a battle with its new amendments, especially since it passed the House with a 170-162 vote on January 15. Sixty percent of New Hampshire adults support HB 492, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll released in October by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Just 36% said they are opposed. The entire poll is available at: http://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/research_publications/gsp2013_fall_gastaxpot102513.pdf.

CannaSearch Job Fair in Denver is a Boon to Job Growth

March 13th, 2014

Denver, Colorado is hosting the first ever marijuana industry job fair this Thursday. Fifteen major marijuana-related companies will be searching for qualified applicants at 1058 Delaware St. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. These burgeoning companies have hundreds of positions to fill, which range from accounting to technology, cultivation, and retail.cannasearch

Event planners expect more than 700 applicants to attend. CannaSearch comes at a vital time as the U.S. economy struggles to regain its foothold.  In a job climate of much-needed growth, the marijuana industry presents a solution while taking the revenue out of criminals’ hands and putting it in legal businesses.

California Democrats Officially Add Marijuana Legalization to Platform

March 12th, 2014

California Democrats approved adding a position in support of taxing and regulating marijuana to the party’s platform Sunday, despite opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown (D). This is a major shift in the Democratic Party stance on legal marijuana use in the Golden State, and was spearheaded by long-time activist Lanny Swerdlow and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club.

California was the pioneering state for medical marijuana, which was made legal in 1996, but since then has stalled on creating a regulatory structure for cultivation or sales, and the legislature has been unwilling to seriously consider making marijuana legal for adults.

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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom

Leading up to the party shift this weekend, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, formerly the mayor of San Francisco, made the case for marijuana, swaying moderate Democrats by reassuring them, “You can be pro-regulation without being an advocate for drug use.”

Newsom’s advocacy was contrary to Gov. Brown’s interview on “Meet the Press” the last week, in which he voiced peculiar concerns over marijuana’s effect on alertness. “The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive,” Brown said. “I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

The platform language specifically calls on Democrats to “support the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol.” The tipping point in this shift may stem from Colorado’s preliminary tax revenue generation of $2 million dollars for the month of January. However, revenue clearly is not the only factor; a recent Field Poll found a 55% majority of voters support legalization.

MPP’s Mason Tvert Discusses Marijuana Tax Revenue in Colorado

March 11th, 2014

Earlier today, MPP’s Mason Tvert appeared on MSNBC to discuss the recent revelation that Colorado collected more than $3.5 million  in tax revenue from adult marijuana sales in January alone.

Alaska Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Officially Qualifies for 2014 Primary Ballot

February 28th, 2014

AKRegulateAlaska is on its way to becoming the third state in the nation to end marijuana prohibition!

Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell announced yesterday that an initiative to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and regulate it like alcohol has officially qualified for the August 19 primary ballot. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska now has less than six months to campaign in support of the measure.

A generous supporter has offered to help the campaign get off to a strong start by matching dollar-for-dollar every donation it receives during the next three weeks, up to a total of $15,000.  MPP hopes you’ll take advantage of this special opportunity by making a donation to the Alaska campaign today.

A poll conducted earlier this month found 55% of Alaska voters think it’s time to make marijuana legal and regulate it like alcohol. But victory is far from guaranteed, so it’s critical that the campaign raise money right now to build a strong coalition, mobilize supporters across the state, and run ads in August.

MPP’s Mason Tvert Discusses Colorado Marijuana Tax Revenue On CNN

February 24th, 2014

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:

Oregon Lawmakers Advance Potential Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure

February 21st, 2014

Late last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 to advance a proposal that would put an initiative on November’s ballot askingOregonStateSeal if marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol. The vote means the proposal made it past the first committee deadline. The bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee. If you are an Oregon residentplease email your lawmakers today and ask them to support this sensible idea.

The bill, SB 1556, would ask voters in November if adults 21 and older should be allowed to legally use, possess, and cultivate a limited amount of marijuana. It would also task the Oregon Legislature with deciding how best to regulate commercial production and retail sales of marijuana to adults 21 and older. Even lawmakers who oppose the idea of treating marijuana like alcohol can support the idea of giving their constituents the ability to vote on the proposal themselves, so please ask your lawmakers to vote “yes” on SB 1556 today.

If Governor Kitzhaber can hear the “drumbeats [of inevitable marijuana policy reform] from Washington and Colorado,” so can Oregon lawmakers.

Rhode Island Legislators Announce Intent to End Marijuana Prohibition

February 12th, 2014
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Sen. Josh Miller

Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Josh Miller and House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Edith Ajello held a press conference today to announce that they will introduce a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The founder of Brown University’s Alcohol & Addiction Studies Center, a former Providence police officer, and other opinion leaders joined them to call for this more sensible approach. 

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act is similar to the laws in Colorado and Washington. The proposal would allow individuals 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. It also directs the Department of Revenue to license and regulate marijuana producers and 10 retail marijuana stores. This sensible approach to marijuana would create new industries with new jobs and raise needed revenue for the state. It would also allow law enforcement focus on more serious crimes.

MPP and Regulate Rhode Island are working hard to ensure that this is the year Rhode Island ends its marijuana prohibition, but we need your help. If you are a Rhode Island resident, email your lawmakers and ask them to support this important legislation and then ask your friends and family in the Ocean State to do the same.

Finally, if you have experienced first-hand how problematic marijuana prohibition is, take a few moments to tell us your story.