revenue

Colorado: Regulated Marijuana System Generated More Than $135 Million In Revenue For State

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Revenue Includes More Than $35 Million for School Construction Projects

Total revenue raised from 2015 surpassed original projections and far exceeded the costs associated with regulating the system

Colorado’s regulated marijuana system generated more than $135 million in revenue for the state in 2015, including more than $35 million for school construction projects, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There were just under $588 million in adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado from January-December 2015, producing approximately $109.1 million in tax revenue in addition to $4.7 million in license and application fees. The state’s regulated medical marijuana system produced more than $11.4 million in tax revenue and $9.8 million in license and application fees.

In 2014, the state’s regulated marijuana system raised just over $76.1 million in total revenue, including about $56.2 million from adult-use marijuana tax revenue and fees and $19.9 million in medical marijuana tax revenue and fees.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales taking place in every state,” said Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Colorado is one of the few where those sales are being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses.”

Adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado are subject to the state’s standard 2.9 percent sales tax, plus a 10 percent special state sales tax. Additionally, wholesale transfers of adult-use marijuana are subject to a 15 percent state excise tax.

Vermont: Governor Calls For Marijuana Legalization In State of the State Address

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Gov. Peter Shumlin Declares Drug War a Failure and Calls for Expanded Overdose Prevention and Treatment Access

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin on Thursday, in his final State of the State address, called on lawmakers to pass legislation legalizing and regulating marijuana.

The Governor also declared the Drug War a failure and expressed desire to continue emphasizing a health-based approach to drug policy by expanding treatment and overdose prevention programs, as well as by removing the stigma associated with drug use and addiction.

"The outdated war on drugs has also failed," said Shumlin, "and there is no greater example than our nation’s marijuana laws."

“Pete Shumlin is providing just the sort of leadership we need to see from other governors around the country,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Indeed, it’s a bit surprising, with a majority of Americans in favor of marijuana legalization, that he’s the only sitting governor to actively call for it. I’m hopeful this is the start of a new trend.”

Gov. Shumlin stressed that a marijuana legalization measure should contain the following:

• A legal market to keep marijuana and other drugs out of the hands of underage kids;
• Tax imposed must be low enough to wipe out the black market and get rid of illegal drug dealers;
• Revenue from legalization must be used to expand addiction prevention programs;
• Strengthened law enforcement capacity to improve our response to impaired drivers

Arizona: Marijuana Initiative Backers Encourage Business Leaders To Consider Economic Benefits

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Prior to an annual Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday, backers of a 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona will encourage business leaders to consider the economic benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana in the state.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. MST on January 6, outside the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Legislative Luncheon in Phoenix (northeast corner of N. 3rd and E. Van Buren streets).

Campaign leaders will have a sign and distribute handouts that invalidate opponents’ claims that regulating marijuana for adult use will be bad for business in Arizona.

“Regulating marijuana like alcohol would bolster our state’s economy with new tax revenue, new jobs, and new business opportunities,” said campaign chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Business leaders typically recognize the value of a legal and regulated alcohol market for adults. Our initiative would establish a similar system but for an objectively less harmful product.

“Since Colorado made marijuana legal for adults, its economy has improved dramatically and at a far greater rate than most other states,” Holyoak said. “Opponents of that law claimed it would be bad for business, and that claim has proven to be entirely unfounded.”

The following facts will be included in the handout distributed to attendees:

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Facing Robust Growth, New Regulations

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With Colorado marking the two-year anniversary of legalization for the adult-use/recreational marijuana market, the cannabis industry is predicting new milestones in both Colorado and the United States in 2016. With a burgeoning industry on the precipice of enormous growth, education and consumer safety will be a top priority for cannabis leaders as the industry expands throughout the country, according to the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA).

“This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer,” said Peggy Moore, chair of CBA and owner, Love’s Oven. “The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access as well as overconsumption.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," Moore said. "As such, we are working to bring best practices to the entire industry to ensure that all consumers are educated about how and when to consume cannabis, and how to avoid cases of accidental ingestion. The industry has embraced and furthered certified child resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing, and will continue to promote this and other industry best-practices in 2016.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) offers the following observations on the rapidly evolving cannabis industry and an outlook for 2016:

Arizona: 7 Marijuana Industry Facts From 2014

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Arizona’s medical marijuana industry has seen significant growth over the last few years, and it is predicted to continue to grow at a very rapid rate.

AZmarijuana.com, a marijuana industry website, released a list of seven significant Arizona marijuana industry statistics from 2014:

1. 85 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were operating in Arizona as of Dec. 31, 2014.

2. Nearly $112 million of revenue was generated by Arizona’s medical marijuana industry (based on an estimate that the average dispensary price for medical marijuana was $350 an ounce).

3. There are more than 61,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona.

4. Eleven cards were revoked, which included caregivers with multiple cards.

5. Female qualifying patients and caregivers were usually older than male qualifying patients and caregivers.

6. 18-30 year olds had the most dispensary transactions followed by 31-40 year olds and then 51-60 year olds.

7. 1,563 (approximately 2.5 percent) of the medical marijuana qualifying patients and 371 (approximately 58 percent) of caregivers were authorized to cultivate marijuana.

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