Gov. Inslee Signs Marijuana Reform Bill
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Gov. Inslee Signs Marijuana Reform Bill
Posted by CN Staff on July 01, 2015 at 05:28:43 PT
By Gene Johnson, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Olympia -- Washington state's recreational marijuana law has a new tax structure under a measure signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.The new law eliminates the current three-tier tax structure and replaces it with a single excise tax of 37 percent at the point of sale — a change sought by the legal-pot industry. To encourage more cities and counties to allow marijuana businesses, the bill directs the state to share pot revenue with jurisdictions that do so. It also allows them to adopt more flexible zoning for where pot grows and stores can be located.
The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 allowed the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use at licensed stores, which started opening last year. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed and Inslee signed into law a measure that regulates the state's medical marijuana system and reconciles the two markets.The tax structure change is significant for marijuana businesses. Previously, pot shops charged their customers 25 percent as required so they could pass that money along to the state. But because of the way the law was written, they had to pay federal income tax on that money they collected from the customer, even though it didn't go toward their bottom lines.The change makes the new 37 percent tax akin to a sales tax, so stores won't have to report it as income.Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Democrat from Seattle who sponsored the measure, said that he had concerns that the state is relying too much on projected tax revenue from marijuana. The new two-year state budget passed by the Legislature assumes a net gain of about $300 million over the next two years as the result of both the medical marijuana and recreational reform measures that passed this year. But Carlyle said the measure was important because it addresses regulatory framework issues around the marijuana law."It was absolutely imperative to have an update and refresh of the initiative law," he said after the signing. Under the initiative for the recreational system, a previous three-tier excise tax system was set up to impose a 25 percent tax on the producer, a 25 percent tax on the processor and a 25 percent tax on the retailer. Under the measure, that structure is compressed to one 37 percent tax at the point of sale at the retailer.Under the new law, starting Wednesday, the excise tax is one that everyone would have to pay, both medical marijuana patients and recreational users. However, patients who are in a registry that takes effect in July 2016 created under another bill passed by the Legislature this year would be exempt from sales tax on their purchases. But current collective gardens would get a sales tax exemption up until that time.The new measure allows counties and cities to reduce the buffer zone around businesses from the current 1,000 feet to as little as 100 feet for recreation and child care centers, public parks or transit centers, libraries and arcades. The 1,000-foot zone would remain in place for schools. The measure also bans marijuana vending machines, marijuana clubs and drive-thru facilities.Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, general manager at Dockside Cannabis, a legal pot shop in Shoreline, said it's not clear how the new tax structure will affect prices. Will growers who have been operating at slim margins lower their wholesale prices if they don't have to pay the 25 percent excise tax, or keep them where they are to improve their bottom line? Will retail stores pass savings on to customers or hang on to the difference because they're still worried about their federal tax liabilities?"This is supposed to happen tomorrow. You have a few hours to change an entire market's pricing structure," he said Tuesday. "It is an exceptionally short window for such a tremendous change."Gene Johnson contributed from Seattle.Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Gene Johnson, The Associated PressPublished: July 1, 2015Copyright: 2015 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on July 02, 2015 at 18:19:49 PT
Afterburner Comment 3
Prowling around over at The Cannabist, I ran on to this article from last year about an interview with Neil Young.Neil Young tells Howard Stern his secret cure for high paranoia
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 02, 2015 at 16:44:11 PT
Comment 2 The GCW
"For prohibitionists to make that happen they must use the media, which they often control, to create the perception that cannabis legalization on any level must be scaled back and eliminated."They've done it before and are still doing it many places. I'm so sick of their meanness, wickedness, cruelty, and continued clinging to unjust laws. They are like mindless robots, unable to modify their stance or accept in any way that perhaps they have been wrong... which they have. They've been programmed. They are fanatics. They are zealous. Truly. And they like it. But, I believe, they are still wrong, for what they do to others, their fellow humans.“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on July 02, 2015 at 10:29:22 PT
Silly Attack on Vaping
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on July 02, 2015 at 07:03:51 PT
Here's the link to the research, great comments
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on July 01, 2015 at 22:03:19 PT
Poll:In light of a review of studies that found limited evidence of marijuana's medical benefits, is it time to retire the medical pot model in Colorado?yesNO believe I've been reading about the potential medical benefits of cannabis increasing in scope, consistently.... what are they talking about???I've also heard a (local) leader in law enforcement say there is and will be a well funded push to end the legalization of cannabis both medically and otherwise. For prohibitionists to make that happen they must use the media, which they often control, to create the perception that cannabis legalization on any level must be scaled back and eliminated. -Propaganda, anyone?Is this poll and things like it a part of that movement?The prohibitionist think tank at work... We need to realize it exist and keep ahead of those associated harms to the U.S. and indeed the world.We absolutely must not allow cannabis prohibitionists to harm America any longer.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on July 01, 2015 at 10:33:24 PT
Holy smoke
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