Year of legal marijuana nets state $70 million in pot taxes
SEATTLE (AP) - Washington launched its second-in-the-nation legal marijuana market with just a handful of stores selling high-priced pot to long lines of customers. A year later, the state has about 160 shops open, tax revenues have soared past expectations and sales top $1.4 million per day.
And who knows - the industry might even start making some money.
Washington pot farmers, processors and retailers have complained all year that heavy state and federal tax burdens, along with competition from an unregulated medical marijuana market, have made it difficult for them to do business.
But at least some relief is here: This month, two new laws take effect, one to regulate and tax medical marijuana, and one to cut Washington's three-level excise tax on pot to a single, 37-percent tax.
Despite some industry gripes and those tweaks to Washington's legal pot law, which voters passed in 2012 to legalize marijuana for adults over 21, officials and legalization backers say the state's slow and deliberate effort to regulate marijuana has been a success.
A year after stores opened on July 8, 2014, here's a look at the state of legal weed here.
MARIJUANA DISPENSARY SUES SANTA ANA POLICE OVER RAID
A Santa Ana marijuana dispensary has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit following a raid where police officers are accused of eating marijuana edibles.
Attorney Matthew Pappas says he has new video which definitively proves Santa Ana police officers ate marijuana edibles during the raid of a marijuana dispensary in May.
Pappas noted the edited surveillance video, which prompted a federal lawsuit against the city, shows officers talking about and appearing to eat pot edibles.
The video prompted the Santa Ana Police Department to place three officers on administrative leave. The Orange County district attorney is also investigating to see if any criminal actions were taken by the officers.
Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas admits some of the actions shown in the video were inappropriate, but continues to stand by his officers when it comes to the edibles allegations.
"We do have information that leads us to believe that they are not consuming edibles," said Rojas, who would not elaborate, citing a personnel matter.
Alaska's marijuana board holds first meeting, wants changes to laws
FAIRBANKS—The newly appointed Marijuana Control Board's first meeting ran nearly six meandering hours as its members settled into their new roles, but it produced a list of four proposed changes to Alaska's marijuana laws.
The board, by unanimous vote, signed off on a wish list of statutory changes it wants the Alaska Legislature to change in last year's ballot measure that legalized commercial marijuana. The board met in Fairbanks.
The four issues include allowing cannabis clubs, updating the criminal law, clarifying the difference between a personal grow and an illegal operation, and giving villages the ability to opt out of commercial marijuana sales.
During the campaign, sponsors said communities and villages that didn't want commercial marijuana sales could opt out, but the language used in the initiative is proving to be a problem.
Representative Blumenauer Statement On Legalization Of Adult Use Of Marijuana In Oregon
Medical marijuana moves closer to reality in Maryland
For the sickest Minnesotans, medical marijuana will be legal on Wednesday
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