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Washington State Senate Votes To Eliminate Marijuana Excise Taxes

Category: News | Posted on Sat, April, 4th 2015 by THCFinder
 
marijuana taxes tax

(via dailyfinance.com)

I have long said that if the black market for marijuana is going to be eliminated, legal marijuana prices have to be lower, or at least close to lower, than prices on the black market. I’m all for paying a bit more at a store, but when someone can get marijuana on the black market for 5 dollars a gram, and it costs 19 dollars a gram at a store, that’s not going to work. That is the case in Washington State, where the tax structure for marijuana is hurting the industry quite a bit. This week the Washington Senate voted to make big changes to the tax structure for marijuana. PerMarijuana Business Daily:

There may be a glimmer of hope for what is widely considered an untenable tax structure in Washington State.

The Washington State Senate passed a bill removing the excise tax on recreational marijuana sales by producers and processors, and will tax only retail sales.

As it stands, a 25% excise tax at three transfer points: when producers sell to processors, when processors sell to retailers, and when retailers sell to end consumers. Business owners in the industry say that tax structure inhibits their ability to do business and drives up prices.

The new bill proposes a one-time tax of 37% on retail sales.

I still think a 37% tax is too high, but that’s less than half of what it is now (25% times 3). I would like to see Washington move to a tax structure like what Oregon is going to have, which should be a flat rate of $35 per ounce. That of course is assuming the Oregon Legislature respects the will of the voters. If that proves to be the case, Oregon would have the lowest marijuana taxes in the country, and would be bordered by Washington which would have the highest.

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/washington-state-senate-votes-to-eliminate-marijuana-excise-taxes/


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Justice Department Will Still Prosecute People For Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder
 

justice department medical marijuanaA spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Los Angeles Times that a bi-partisan amendment passed by Congress last year prohibiting DOJ from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws doesn’t prevent it from prosecuting people for medical marijuana or seizing their property. The statement comes as the agency continues to target people who are complying with their state medical marijuana law. This insubordination is occurring despite the fact that members of Congress in both parties were clear that their intent with the amendment was to protect medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution and forfeiture.

“The Justice Department is ignoring the will of the voters, defying Congress, and breaking the law,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder need to rein in this out-of-control agency.”

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize and regulate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twelve states have laws on the books regulating cannabidiol (CBD) oils, a non-psychotropic component of medical marijuana which some parents are utilizing to treat their children’s seizures. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for non-medical use.

Last May Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Democratic Congressman Sam Farr offered an amendment to a spending bill prohibiting the Justice Department from spending any money in 2015 to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” Members of both parties took to the House floor in opposition to the prosecution of medical marijuana patients and providers and in defense of states setting their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

The Republican-controlled House passed the amendment with most Democrats and 49 Republicans approving it. The amendment was backed in the Senate by Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Cory Booker and made it into the final “cromnibus” bill that was signed by President Obama in December. The spending restriction applies to fiscal year 2015 spending.

http://www.theweedblog.com/justice-department-will-still-prosecute-people-for-medical-marijuana/


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Edmond police find 500-plant marijuana grow

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder

EDMOND, Okla. —Edmond police say they have located their biggest marijuana grow ever.

“The homeowner called us,” said Jenny Monroe, spokesperson for the Edmond Police Department. “When officers arrived, they saw the back door open and they could see a venting system and all the wiring coming out of the back of the house. They could see some plants and smell a strong chemical odor.”

Inside the home, located in the 1300 block of Jamestown, investigators found roughly 500 pot plants, some as tall as 4 feet.

“The entire home was covered with plants,” said Monroe. “Everywhere except the kitchen.”

The operation was so large, investigators brought in a 22-foot U-Haul truck to clear the home.

According to police, their investigation started a few months ago when a utility company noticed the power had been cut off.

The marijuana growers were siphoning electricity from their neighbors to fuel their illegal activity, police said.

“I saw the guy once,” said neighbor Bill Womble. “He came over once asking if our power was out. That was the only time I saw him.”

Investigators said they’re working on tracking down the people behind the grow operation.

“They were cash-paying renters. The landlord said they never had any issues. This operation was going on in this neighborhood without anyone really being aware of the situation,” said Monroe.

It’s believed the renters may have skipped town.

 

If you have any information, you’re asked to call Edmond police.

Source: http://www.koco.com/news/edmond-police-find-500plant-marijuana-grow/32180138


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President Obama Commutes Sentences of 22 Prisoners of the Drug War

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 1st 2015 by THCFinder

The United States has become the land of the free once again for several prisoners of the domestic drug war. Earlier this week, President Obama used his executive authority to commute the sentences of 22 individuals incarcerated for drug-related offenses, a move that more than doubled the number of commutations the president has granted since moving into the White House nearly seven years ago.

This act of clemency was all part of an effort to reduce federal mandatory minimum sentencing. The men and women whose names found their way to the president’s list of absolution had been convicted of a variety of offenses ranging from the distribution of methamphetamine and heroin to the cultivation of marijuana. Eight of the 22 released from the shackles of an “outdated sentencing regime” were serving life in prison without the possibility for parole for their indiscretions with powders and plants.

According to a statement from White House counsel Neil Eggleston, “Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years — in some cases more than a decade — longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”

To qualify for this round of commutations, petitioners must have displayed a clean prison record and given no indication that they would pose a threat to civil society upon their release. In a letter sent to the 22 individuals, President Obama explained that they have been selected because they demonstrated the potential to turn their lives around.

“Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity,” Obama wrote. “It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances.”

The Obama Administration has made it a part of their mission to take a stand against mass incarceration in the United States, announcing earlier last year a plan to chip away at mandatory minimums while making it easier for non-violent offenders to apply for clemency. To make this a reality, the Justice Department expanded its criteria for clemency in 2014 to include six eligibility requirements that moves drug offenders, who have served at least 10 years with no history of violence or organized crime affiliation, to the top of the list.

Read More: http://www.hightimes.com/read/president-obama-commutes-sentences-22-prisoners-drug-war


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In Colorado, Marijuana Taxes May Have to Be Passed Back

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 1st 2015 by THCFinder
Photo
 
Robert Grandt working in a marijuana grow room in Denver. Tax revenue on the substance fell short of state estimates, but overall state income exceeded them.CreditRJ Sangosti/The Denver Post, via Getty Images
 

DENVER — In the State Capitol, they are calling it Refund Madness.

A year after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, millions of tax dollars are rolling in, dedicated to funding school construction, marijuana education campaigns and armies of marijuana inspectors and regulators. But a legal snarl may force the state to hand that money back to marijuana consumers, growers and the public — and lawmakers do not want to.

The problem is a strict anti-spending provision in the state Constitution that touches every corner of public life, like school funding, state health care, local libraries and road repairs. Technical tripwires in that voter-approved provision, known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, may require Colorado to refund nearly $60 million in marijuana taxes because the state’s overall revenue estimates ended up being too low when the marijuana tax question was put to voters. Lawmakers are scrambling to figure out a way to keep that money, and they are hoping Colorado voters — usually stingy when it comes to taxes and spending — will let them. In rare bipartisan agreement on taxes, legislators are piecing together a bill that would seek voters’ permission to hold on to the marijuana money.

“Despite our anti-tax feelings in the state, there’s an exception being made when it comes to marijuana,” said Michael Elliott, the executive director of the Denver-based Marijuana Industry Group, a trade organization that has not taken a position on the refund issue. “The industry is making a huge economic impact.”

Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/colorado-lawmakers-scramble-to-keep-millions-in-marijuana-taxes.html


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NFL Superstar Blasts the League's Marijuana Policy

Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 31st 2015 by THCFinder

Retired football star Ricky Williams is speaking out against the NFL's marijuana policy in an exclusive, tell-all interview with The National Marijuana News. In 2004, Williams made headlines by retiring from professional football after testing positive for pot and being served with a $650,000 fine and a four-game suspension.

He's not the only former NFL player to call on the NFL to allow marijuana. A few weeks ago, former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson said he believes the NFL will have no choice but to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances.

Read More: http://www.hightimes.com/read/nfl-superstar-blasts-leagues-marijuana-policy?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HIGHTIMESMagazine+(HIGH+TIMES+Magazine)


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