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Michigan's marijuana tax revenue would be gutted by lame duck bill

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https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/11/legal_marijuana_tax_revenue_wo.html

 

A bill proposed by outgoing Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would significantly change the voter-approved recreational marijuana program in Michigan, including by drastically lowering the tax revenue the state is set to receive.

Proposal 1 passed with 56 percent of the vote Nov. 6. It will take effect next week.

Meekhof, R-West Olive, introduced the bill Thursday.

In addition to lowering the tax rate from 10 percent to three percent, the bill cuts out Michigan's schools and roads from receiving tax revenue from legal marijuana. The state's six percent sales tax would still apply, said Amber McCann, Meekhof's spokeswoman.

"It's disrespectful to the political process and it's disrespectful to the voters of Michigan," said Josh Hovey, spokesman for the coalition behind the ballot proposal, of Meekhof's bill. 

"The people of Michigan have spoken. They knew what they were voting on."

Tax revenue from marijuana sales could reach $287.9 million by the time the market matures in Michigan under the tax structure in Proposal 1, according to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis. It's unclear how much revenue Meekhof's proposal would draw.

 

State estimates legalized marijuana could bring in $287.9M in new tax revenue

Under Proposal 1, Michigan has one of the lowest tax rates on adult-use marijuana in the country. Under Meekhof's proposed bill, Michigan would have the lowest tax rate in the country. The bill redirects the revenue to municipalities (25 percent), counties (30 percent) and county sheriffs (5 percent) that have marijuana facilities, and 30 percent for state police, police training and first responder disability benefits.

Meekhof's bill, Senate Bill 1243, proposes other major changes to the voter-approved Proposal 1; including eliminating the ability for individuals to grow marijuana at home and cutting out a micro-grower's license. 

Proposal 1 allows for individuals to grow up to 12 plants at home, and up to 150 plants at home with a micro-grower's license.

"I personally have concerns with the home grow part of it, we've left that wide open on the back side there," Meekhof said to reporters before Thanksgiving. "I don't know that this state would hire folks or locals would hire folks to go around and see if everybody is only growing 12 plants."

Meekhof said he doesn't envision people lining up to pay taxes on marijuana when they can grow their own at home.

"I've just thought that was irresponsible from day one," said Scott Greenlee, president of the opposition campaign to Proposal 1, about home cultivation of cannabis.

He applauded Meekhof's efforts, and said: "Many real estate folks I've talked to have great concerns about what that will do to housing prices."

Of the 10 states and Washington D.C. where adult-use marijuana is legalized, just one state -- Washington -- does not allow for growing at home.

"We were trying to move forward in a fair way to allow small business to flourish," said Matt Abel, a cannabis lawyer and one of the authors of Proposal 1. "The Republicans will tell you they support small business; well that's not true. It's clear that the Republicans don't want us to have marijuana until they can sell it to us."

Meekhof's proposed bill mainly attempts to make recreational marijuana more similar to the medical marijuana program that's in place: large portions of Senate Bill 1243 have seemingly duplicate portions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act of 2016.

Namely, Meekhof wants to put the control of licensing recreational marijuana businesses under the control of an appointed board and subject applicants to the same stringent licensing application process. The Medical Marihuana Licensing Board has come under heavy scrutiny from industry operators, as the medical program has been slow to launch and is barely functioning.

 

Medical marijuana shortage pushes officials to consider breaking their own rules

The bill also proposes changes to the way municipalities decide whether to allow businesses to open up shop, and would remove the ability for citizens to challenge their local government's vote by placing an initiative on the ballot.

"I think it's a Hail Mary attempt to satisfy some big business interests and wealthy donors who want to get into the industry," Hovey said.

It will be a heavy lift for Meekhof to get the votes needed to change Proposal 1.

Once the people of Michigan vote to put a law in place the legislature needs a three-fourths vote to change it, instead of the simple majority that is usually required. 

Republicans have majorities in both chambers but would need votes from Democrats to get to that number -- particularly in the House of Representatives.

"Those others who are starting new terms in January should think twice about tinkering with this without consulting those of us who wrote it," Abel said. "The sentiment in the community is no way in hell is [Meekhof] going to get the votes in the House."

That math is part of why the legislature earlier this year proposed adopting the measure themselves, making it easier to amend with a simple majority. But ultimately Republicans in the House didn't support the plan, and it fell apart. 

 

Edited by garyfisher

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9 hours ago, garyfisher said:

https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/11/legal_marijuana_tax_revenue_wo.html

 

A bill proposed by outgoing Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would significantly change the voter-approved recreational marijuana program in Michigan, including by drastically lowering the tax revenue the state is set to receive.

Proposal 1 passed with 56 percent of the vote Nov. 6. It will take effect next week.

Meekhof, R-West Olive, introduced the bill Thursday.

In addition to lowering the tax rate from 10 percent to three percent, the bill cuts out Michigan's schools and roads from receiving tax revenue from legal marijuana. The state's six percent sales tax would still apply, said Amber McCann, Meekhof's spokeswoman.

"It's disrespectful to the political process and it's disrespectful to the voters of Michigan," said Josh Hovey, spokesman for the coalition behind the ballot proposal, of Meekhof's bill. 

"The people of Michigan have spoken. They knew what they were voting on."

Tax revenue from marijuana sales could reach $287.9 million by the time the market matures in Michigan under the tax structure in Proposal 1, according to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis. It's unclear how much revenue Meekhof's proposal would draw.

 

State estimates legalized marijuana could bring in $287.9M in new tax revenue

Under Proposal 1, Michigan has one of the lowest tax rates on adult-use marijuana in the country. Under Meekhof's proposed bill, Michigan would have the lowest tax rate in the country. The bill redirects the revenue to municipalities (25 percent), counties (30 percent) and county sheriffs (5 percent) that have marijuana facilities, and 30 percent for state police, police training and first responder disability benefits.

Meekhof's bill, Senate Bill 1243, proposes other major changes to the voter-approved Proposal 1; including eliminating the ability for individuals to grow marijuana at home and cutting out a micro-grower's license. 

Proposal 1 allows for individuals to grow up to 12 plants at home, and up to 150 plants at home with a micro-grower's license.

"I personally have concerns with the home grow part of it, we've left that wide open on the back side there," Meekhof said to reporters before Thanksgiving. "I don't know that this state would hire folks or locals would hire folks to go around and see if everybody is only growing 12 plants."

Meekhof said he doesn't envision people lining up to pay taxes on marijuana when they can grow their own at home.

"I've just thought that was irresponsible from day one," said Scott Greenlee, president of the opposition campaign to Proposal 1, about home cultivation of cannabis.

He applauded Meekhof's efforts, and said: "Many real estate folks I've talked to have great concerns about what that will do to housing prices."

Of the 10 states and Washington D.C. where adult-use marijuana is legalized, just one state -- Washington -- does not allow for growing at home.

"We were trying to move forward in a fair way to allow small business to flourish," said Matt Abel, a cannabis lawyer and one of the authors of Proposal 1. "The Republicans will tell you they support small business; well that's not true. It's clear that the Republicans don't want us to have marijuana until they can sell it to us."

Meekhof's proposed bill mainly attempts to make recreational marijuana more similar to the medical marijuana program that's in place: large portions of Senate Bill 1243 have seemingly duplicate portions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act of 2016.

Namely, Meekhof wants to put the control of licensing recreational marijuana businesses under the control of an appointed board and subject applicants to the same stringent licensing application process. The Medical Marihuana Licensing Board has come under heavy scrutiny from industry operators, as the medical program has been slow to launch and is barely functioning.

 

Medical marijuana shortage pushes officials to consider breaking their own rules

The bill also proposes changes to the way municipalities decide whether to allow businesses to open up shop, and would remove the ability for citizens to challenge their local government's vote by placing an initiative on the ballot.

"I think it's a Hail Mary attempt to satisfy some big business interests and wealthy donors who want to get into the industry," Hovey said.

It will be a heavy lift for Meekhof to get the votes needed to change Proposal 1.

Once the people of Michigan vote to put a law in place the legislature needs a three-fourths vote to change it, instead of the simple majority that is usually required. 

Republicans have majorities in both chambers but would need votes from Democrats to get to that number -- particularly in the House of Representatives.

"Those others who are starting new terms in January should think twice about tinkering with this without consulting those of us who wrote it," Abel said. "The sentiment in the community is no way in hell is [Meekhof] going to get the votes in the House."

That math is part of why the legislature earlier this year proposed adopting the measure themselves, making it easier to amend with a simple majority. But ultimately Republicans in the House didn't support the plan, and it fell apart. 

 

Fukhof Meekhof, 

This is why we got rid of Snyder and Schuette. Wish we could have gotten rid of more of these dinosaurs. They get bribed by haters and business scammers to come up with this BS. He should carry a sign that says 'crooked politician' all day long so the crooked lobbies can find him easier. 

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I noticed something interesting. The grow stores are not booming after the ability to grow at home for all Michigan adults was set free. That's surprising to me. I guess most everyone who wanted to grow indoors already was? People need to exercise their rights! Grow it and grow a lot of it. I have heard interpretations that a person can have all they grow on their 12 plants. More than the 10 ounces that everyone else can have. And prosecutors have come out that they are not asking for search warrants for marijuana anymore. Grow hard people. It's pure Michigan!

 

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On 11/30/2018 at 7:09 AM, Restorium2 said:

I noticed something interesting. The grow stores are not booming after the ability to grow at home for all Michigan adults was set free. That's surprising to me. I guess most everyone who wanted to grow indoors already was? People need to exercise their rights! Grow it and grow a lot of it. I have heard interpretations that a person can have all they grow on their 12 plants. More than the 10 ounces that everyone else can have. And prosecutors have come out that they are not asking for search warrants for marijuana anymore. Grow hard people. It's pure Michigan!

 

I think there may be some lag time because it hasn't taken effect yet and many people dont quite understand what exactly was passed.  I think the stores will see the influx of new growers shortly after the new year, especially around april.

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22 hours ago, garyfisher said:

I think there may be some lag time because it hasn't taken effect yet and many people dont quite understand what exactly was passed.  I think the stores will see the influx of new growers shortly after the new year, especially around april.

April 20th perhaps?

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So all of our homes are safe to smell like growing marijuana! 

And law enforcement might as well quit bribing the trash man to tell on us for grow scraps in the trash.

What a wonderful State we live in! Snyder and Schuette free. Now that is the Great and Pure Michigan! 

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