Vermont Governor Rejects Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
After the Vermont legislature passed a bill that would greenlight recreational marijuana sales, many were hopeful that Governor Phil Scott would sign it into law. Scott declined and Vermont narrowly missed becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use through the legislature instead of through a ballot process. However, the governor did not close the door entirely to approving recreational use in the future. “I am not philosophically opposed to ending the prohibition on marijuana, and I recognize there is a clear societal shift in that direction,” he said. “However, I feel it is crucial that key questions and concerns involving public safety and health are addressed before moving forward.”
DEA Chief: Marijuana is Not Medicine
While many policies of the Trump White House seem to be at odds with the Obama administration, one area remains the same. Drug Enforcement Administration acting Chief Chuck Rosenberg reiterated a policy from the Obama years. “Marijuana is not medicine,” Chuck said while speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome,” he said. “I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.” It does not sound like rescheduling is coming anytime soon.
Legal Marijuana Creates New Tax Revenue in Oregon
The legal marijuana industry has a unique burden on its shoulders. It is almost always expected to ease government budget shortfalls. So far, in Oregon, marijuana is doing just that. In the first year of legal marijuana sales, Oregon has collected approximately $200 million yearly for schools, public health and policing. “So far, Oregon’s first year of recreational sales closely tracks Colorado’s first year and outpaces Washington’s,” according to the Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast.
Nevada Races to Get Recreational Marijuana Running by July
Nevada authorities are working quickly to implement its recreational marijuana program. The state budget already includes $70 million to fund education programs that will be derived from recreational marijuana taxes. As a result, lawmakers actually pushed up the starting date for recreational sales from January 2018 to July 2017. The demand is already there from consumers as well. For the time being, medical dispensaries will handle all recreational sales for the time being). “We have so many people coming in every day and calling in every day asking when we’ll have (recreational marijuana),”Bobbie Macfarlane, assistant manager of Sierra Wellness Connection of Reno.