Beginning today, October 1st, the distribution of up to a quarter ounce of cannabis, or up to four cannabis seedlings, is legal for most medical cannabis dispensaries, given the person they’re selling to is at least 21 years old. According to Oregon’s official, there are 241 medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state which will be participating in recreational sales; a full list of these outlets, including contact information and addresses, can be found by clicking here.
A new study released by the financial group Nerd Wallet has detailed what each of the 50 U.S. states gain to make if the nation legalizes the sales of recreational cannabis.
According to the study; “The U.S. stands to gain, according to our calculations, $3,098,866,907 in state and local taxes per year — that’s more than twice the entire budget of the Small Business Administration in 2013. California could gain the most from taxes on sales of marijuana. The state stands to take in $519,287,052, which almost covers the 2013 budget for the California Department of Parks and Recreation.”
The combination of legal recreational cannabis sales, which began on January 1st in Colorado, and legal medical cannabis sales, have earned the state $29.8 million in taxes in the first half of the year, according to data released from the Colorado Department of Revenue.
In total, there was over $24.7 million in recreational cannabis sold in Colorado in the month of June, a 19% increase over the previous month. In the same month, Coloradans purchased roughly $30 million in medical cannabis.
Based on the language of Amendment 64 which legalized cannabis in Colorado, the taxes earned from recreational cannabis sales are split between school construction, local jurisdictions and a Marijuana Cash Fund.
On Monday, July 7th, the Washington State Liquor Control Board will distribute licenses to businesses across the state planning to sale recreational cannabis. Following the distribution of the licenses, a 24-hour moratorium on sales will begin, with stores able to open their doors to anyone 21 and older the following day, Tuesday, July 8th.
The name and location of the accepted businesses will be announced by the Board on Monday. In total 334 applications were accepted for recreational cannabis retail outlets, with final inspections for most of these locations taking place in recent days.
In addition to increased tax revenue and a potential decrease in crime, one of the biggest benefits being seen from the legalization of cannabis in Colorado is a large number of new jobs. According to data from the state’s Department of Revenue, 9,641 people have been licensed to work in the legal cannabis industry as of May 1st. According to Politico, this is “about the same number of Coloradans employed as law-enforcement officers”.
In April, just three months after the start of such sales, there were $22 million in recreational cannabis products sold, with just a few dozen outlets open. The state garnered approximately $3.5 million in taxes from these sales in April.
Legal cannabis sales has earned the State of Colorado over $3 million in tax revenue for the month of February alone. This number represents an increase of roughly $300,000 from the tax revenue earned by the state in January.
Of the $3.2 million collected, $1.43 million came from a special 10% sales tax on recreational cannabis, with $438,253 coming from the state’s standard 2.9% sales tax.
The states 2.9% sales tax on medical cannabis produced $1.02 million in tax revenue in February.
With cannabis recently legalized in parts of the country, scientists who have been sitting on their hands for years can now study the plant in its natural form – scientists like those at the University of Colorado Boulder, who have announced the launch of the Cannabis Genome Research Initiative. The goal of the eighteen-month endeavor is to map the DNA makeup of cannabis, and to provide more knowledge about the plant’s history.
By Matt Sledge, HuffingtonPost.com
He’s been a cop, a sheriff’s deputy and a DEA agent. And now Patrick Moen is taking on his latest assignment: helping sell marijuana. But he isn’t going undercover — he’s going to work for a legal business that supports the marijuana industry.
Moen recently left his job with the DEA in Portland, where he tracked cocaine and methamphetamine traffickers, to work for a small private equity firm in Seattle called Privateer Holdings.
Uruguay has officially become the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis.
Today, the Uruguay Senate approved a cannabis legalization proposal – with a vote of 16 to 13 – which has already been approved by the nation’s House of Representatives. It now heads directly to President José Mujica for final consideration. Mujica introduced the bill, and has said that he will quickly sign it into law. The proposal will take effect 120 days after it’s signed.
Beginning today, Monday, November 18th, Washington State will begin to officially accept applications for their newly-legal recreational cannabis industry, with licenses expected to be issued by early next year. Applicants will be applying as either a processor, producer or retailer, with no one individual being allowed to participant in more than one of the three. Recreational cannabis retail outlets are expected to open by the spring.