The Colorado Department of Revenue announced that $1.3 billion in regulated marijuana sales took place in calendar year 2016, generating nearly $200 million in state tax revenue. These figures do not include revenue generated by local taxes on marijuana. Monthly sales in Colorado topped $100 million in eight of the 12 months. “To put the state’s third year of regulated recreational marijuana sales in perspective, Year One totaled $699.2 million (combined with medical sales) and Year Two jumped up to $996.2 million. The trend should continue in Year Four, but beyond that? It’s a murkier proposition,” reported the Cannabist. In December, dispensary sales were a little more than $114.7 million, a 13 percent increase from the $101.3 million recorded in December 2015.
Minnesota House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka) has filed a bill to end cannabis prohibition and regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults ages 21 and up. If passed, bill HF927 would go into effect on January 1, 2018. It would allow adults to possess and purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, and to grow six plants. Rep. Applebaum hopes that all revenues generated by such a program would go toward Minnesota’s public schools. His bill would not permit driving under the influence of cannabis or consumption in public.
A proposal to make Kansas the 29th medical marijuana state has been introduced by Senator David Haley (D-Kansas City). SB 155, the Kansas Safe Access Act, would allow seriously ill Kansas residents with certain qualifying conditions to access medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. Sixty-eight percent of Kansans believe that marijuana should be legal for medical purposes.
The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to pass HB 640, a bill that would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The vote, 14-2, was overwhelming, and it appears very likely that the House will also pass HB 640 with a huge margin of support. The Committee also voted to “retain” HB 656, a bill that would make marijuana legal for adult use.
Legislators in the West Virginia House and Senate introduced bills that would create a medical marijuana program in the state. In the House, Delegate Mike Pushkin and 11 co-sponsors introduced HB 2677, a comprehensive medical marijuana bill titled the “Patient Freedom Act.” In the upper chamber, Senator Richard Ojeda and 11 co-sponsors introduced SB 386, which would make medical marijuana legal and create a Medical Cannabis Commission to administer the program.