Archive for the ‘taxation’ category

Congressional Research Service: Report On Federal Government Taxing Marijuana

November 20th, 2014

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a comprehensive thirty five-page report last week examining the federal government establishing a wholesale excise tax on the production and sale of cannabis-related products.
majority_support

In what is one of the most comprehensive policy and fiscal reviews to date of how cannabis can be taxed and regulated numerous areas of consideration were reviewed including enforcement, discouraging youth use, choosing the base to tax (i.e., weight, potency and price), restrictions, labeling, measurement, special tax rates, home production and medical cannabis. Members of Congress initiate these reports to CRS.

CRS’ economic analysis indicates that cannabis prices are likely to fall from today’s prohibition-influenced prices of $200-$300 an ounce to as low $5-$18 ounce. Economic modeling based on a $40 billion annual cannabis market in the United States tests a $50 per ounce federal excise tax price point (generating nearly $7 billion in federal excise taxes).

When making the logical comparison of alcohol and cannabis’ ‘external costs’ (i.e., taxation to equate with external costs of the drug use to society), researchers peg alcohol’s external costs to the nation at $30 billion annually; cannabis, at $0.5 – $1.6 billion.

NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre commenting on the new CRS paper: “This CRS report on the prospects of the federal government taxing and regulating cannabis is another clear indication of the political saliency and fiscal appeal of ending cannabis prohibition at the state, and increasingly at the federal level (replacing the nearly eighty-year old failed federal policy with tax-n-regulate policies that are similar to alcohol and tobacco products).

With fours states and the District of Columbia since 2012 opting for legalizing cannabis, dozens of members of Congress from both major political parties—from states with legalization and those that pine for it—are getting serious about making sure the federal government does not lose out on hundreds of millions annually in tax revenue from the ever-growing cannabis industry in the United States.”

 

 

 

Washington: Retail Marijuana Sales Total Nearly $4 Million In First Month

August 12th, 2014

Washington state-licensed marijuana retailers sold an estimated $3.8 million in cannabis products in July, the first month during which such sales were allowed under state law. The sales are estimated to have already generated more than $1 million in tax revenue.

To date, the state’s Liquor Control Board has issued marijuana retail licenses to some 40 facilities. However, only 16 of those stores reported sales in the month of July, according to the Associated Press. Under state regulations, the Board may issue a total of 334 licenses to retail facilities statewide.

Similar state-licensed stores have been operating in Colorado since January 1. For the month of June, Colorado retailers sold a record $24.7 million worth of cannabis goods.

Voters in both states in 2012 approved ballot measures regulating the commercial production, retail sale, and adult use of cannabis.

Voters in Alaska and Oregon will vote on similar measures this November.

Brookings: Logical Alternatives To Marijuana Prohibition?

April 8th, 2013

One of the most important Washington DC think tanks, the Brookings Institute, is hosting a panel discussion on states’ efforts to legalize marijuana on April 15.

Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict?

Event Details

Event:      Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict?
Time:       2:00 PM
Date:       Monday, April 15, 2013
Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036

To register to watch this event online, go here.

Panelist include Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), sponsor of legalization legislation in Congress; Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson; UCLA professor (and Washington state’s new ‘cannabis consultant‘) Mark Kleiman, Ph.D and legal author/essayist and Brookings Institute scholar Stuart Taylor, Jr.

Moderator: Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institute

 

 

 

Making Marijuana Legal is #2 Issue in Rhode Island

February 25th, 2013

The news blog GoLocalProv just ranked the bills being considered in the Rhode Island General Assembly as the “most likely to have a swift and immediate impact on residents throughout the Ocean State and the ones most likely to take up the majority of the General Assembly’s time.”

Naturally, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or H 5274, came in at Number 2 on the list!

From GoLocalProv:

Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, said legalizing marijuana has been met with “more public support than ever before,” and praised Rhode Island for considering the measure.

“Most Americans are fed up with laws that punish adults simply for using a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” he said earlier this month. “The bill introduced in Rhode Island presents a smarter, more responsible approach to marijuana.”

State Senator Donna Nesselbush, meanwhile, said she intends on introducing the measure in the Senate.

“Taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana will rob drug dealers of one of their reasons for being,” she said. “Taxing and regulating would also create the potential for much-needed state revenue that could be used for treatment and education about the consequences of drug use and the promise of healthful living.”

ajello

Rep. Edith Ajello

There will be a hearing on this bill Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee at the State House in Providence, featuring House sponsor Rep. Edith Ajello and MPP’s Robert Capecchi, in addition to representatives of the Coalition for Marijuana Regulation.

If (and ONLY if, please!) you are a Rhode Island resident and would like to help end marijuana prohibition in the Ocean State, please contact your legislators and ask them to support H 5274, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act.

Marijuana Law Reform Makes Governing Magazine Cover

August 5th, 2012

As more and more public, economic and political attention is being cast towards cannabis legalization during the failed policy’s 75th birthday week, these apparently are the years of sober public policy writing examining what an end to Cannabis Prohibition is possibly going to look like with tax lawyer Patrick Ogelsby’s cover article in State Tax Notes last year, Rand Corporation/Kleinman/Caulkins’ book ‘Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know — 2012’ and now a cover piece in the magazine we policy wonks live to read…Governing Magazine.

The Governing writer touches upon what I’ve come to recognize as obvious:  rigid state medical cannabis programs like Colorado’s (as, for example, compared to California’s practically non-existent state regulations and laws regarding medical cannabis) as necessary precursor to state-sanctioned cannabis legalization for non-medical retail.

With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years!

Not possible!

 

Hey Allen,
 
Wanted to share the link to my medical marijuana feature, now it’s been posted online: http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-medical-marijuana-becoming-mainstream.html

As I think I mentioned to you, it was our August cover! (You can see it in the upper right-hand corner). Feel free to distribute it through your own channels, and I’d love to hear any feedback. Couldn’t have done it without all the background and additional help and contacts that you gave me. Thanks again. Sure we’ll have a chance to chat again soon.
 
- Dylan
 
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Dylan Scott
Staff Writer
GOVERNING | governing.com 
A division of e.Republic | Smart Media for Public Sector Innovation
1100 Connecticut Ave N.W., Suite 1300
Washington, D.C. 20036

More Americans Support Taxing Marijuana Than Junk Food

March 29th, 2012

A national Rasmussen poll released today indicates that 47% of American adults answered “yes” to this question: “To help solve America’s fiscal problems, should the country legalize and tax marijuana?” Forty-two percent disagreed, and a whopping 10% were undecided.

Forty-seven percent is impressive, especially when one considers that this figure could grow to 57% if we’re able to persuade the undecided folks to come to our side through positive news coverage, paid advertising, and person-to-person contact.

The 47% is a national figure, which means support for taxing marijuana is surely higher in states like Colorado and Washington, both of which will have marijuana-taxation initiatives on their ballots this November 6. (And, of course, support would necessarily be lower than 47% in states like Alabama and Mississippi.)

The same Rasmussen poll also indicates that only 42% of Americans “favor so-called ‘sin taxes’ on sodas and junk food.”

In case you’re thinking that the 47% figure is a decrease from previous polling … it’s not. The national Gallup poll, released in October, found that 50% of American adults “think the use of marijuana should be made legal.”

So, these are two different marijuana questions. It makes sense that (slightly) more people are comfortable with the simple use of marijuana than the overall legalization and taxation of marijuana — which would involve retail establishments, large-scale grow operations, and maybe even advertising.

I’m very excited about the 47% figure, and I’m looking forward to working with our allies to pass the Colorado ballot initiative in just seven months.