Legal Pot To Generate $190 Million For Washington: Report

WASHINGTON:  Washington’s new legal recreational marijuana market is expected to bring nearly $190 million to state coffers over a four-year period starting in mid-2015, according to an economic forecast released Wednesday.

The forecast by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council showed that $51 million in revenue is expected for the 2015-2017 biennium from marijuana production and sales. An additional $138.5 million is expected for the next two-year budget that ends mid-2019. A little under half of that revenue is expected from excise tax and license fees related to the marijuana market, and the rest is expected to come from retail sales tax and business taxes.

The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 allowed the sale of the marijuana to adults for recreational use at licensed stores, which are expected to open by this summer.

Steve Lerch, the council’s executive director, said that because of concerns over local moratoriums and bans on pot sales and general uncertainty about how the system will work, the council has made assumptions that sales won’t start until June of next year.

“Obviously, as we see any actual sales we’ll be able to revise, if necessary, our forecast,” he said. “But these seemed like reasonable estimates.”

Lawmaker: Growing, Exporting Marijuana Would Pay Off Hawaii’s Debts

HAWAII:  A top Hawaiian lawmaker is calling for the legalization of marijuana in order to pay of billions in state debt and improvements to transportation and public education programs.

House Majority Floor Leader Rida Cabanilla is looking to fix roads, affordable housing and sew up some nearly $25 billion in state debt through the manufacturing and exporting of marijuana and marijuana-based products, Watchdog.org reports.

“This state would turn into a manufacturing state. Can you imagine factories that would be making ‘Maui Wowie’ cookies and making marijuana macadamia nut candy for export? I think that would be wonderful,” said Cabanilla, who represents Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe and West Loch.

Cabanilla says she has not personally inhaled the drug but points to the legalization in Colorado and Washington states to show the financial boost from marijuana.

“The state of Colorado made $1.6 billion in two weeks just by selling it. How much do you think we’re going to make for producing it and selling it? When we are the best, we are the best. We have the best marijuana in the world. I haven’t tried it, but the people that have tried it say, ‘Wow!’” Cabanilla said.

Attorney General: Marijuana Legalization Would Save Calif. "Hundreds of Millions"

CALIFORNIA: Forget social justice, equality, and doing the right thing — when it comes to getting it done, politics and policy are all about that money.

Backers of marijuana legalization have long argued that ending the war on a plant and lifting prohibition on cannabis means big money for California. And Attorney General Kamala Harris agrees with them.

If California legalized marijuana, the state would save “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to the Attorney General’s office. That’s on top of hundreds of millions more in potential tax revenue — meaning legal weed could, conservatively, put California half a billion dollars in the black.

That’s real money.

This isn’t Harris being weed-friendly, either: this is an analysis required by law.

Colorado Is Asking Taxpayers For $1 Billion To Help Schools

COLORADO: In one poor school district in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, students take classes in a bus garage, using plastic sheeting to keep the diesel fumes at bay. In another, there is no more money to tutor young immigrants struggling to read. And just south of Denver, a district where one in four kindergartners is homeless has cut 10 staff positions and is bracing for another cull. [Read more…]

Workshop To Determine Financial Impact Of Medical Marijuana In Florida

FLORIDA: Enough signatures have been gathered and certified to have Florida’s Attorney General and Supreme Court review a proposed ballot initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana. [Read more…]

Marijuana Reform Could Earn UK Billions A Year, Studies Say

UNITED KINGDOM: Hundreds of users of medical marijuana protested outside Parliament last week to demand changes to Britain’s strict cannabis laws, a move many experts believe could yield billions of pounds in tax revenue and save the government billions in policing costs.

Under current law, it is illegal for British citizens to consume or possess cannabis. [Read more…]