A new bill in New Mexico would make like Robin Hood, using revenue from recreational cannabis to subsidize medical marijuana costs and small business loans for small cannabis businesses.
The pretty cool legislation would reduce tax on medical marijuana from the current 7% to a nice even zero percent. In addition, portions of revenue from recreational cannabis would be made available as subsidies for low-income patients. An excise tax of 10% would be placed on recreational cannabis on top of the sales tax.
“We’re going to use some of the revenue from recreational marijuana to reinvest … so we don’t lose those patients,” Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, who headed up the governor’s task force on legalization, told the Associated Press.
The bill would also do its best make this relatively inexpensive medical cannabis available to patients pretty much anywhere in the state. One stipulation of the bill would prevent local municipalities from banning cannabis businesses. And another would mandate that recreational weed shop also provide medical marijuana to patients.
Proceeds would also be set aside to create a venture fund which provides loans to small family-owned businesses, cannabis startups, and to create cannabis industry job training at community colleges.
Officials predict that the first year could bring the state $55 million in revenue, with that annual number potentially doubling in the first five years of legalization.
For such an overwhelmingly pro-cannabis bill, it has also met opposition from the state’s purveyors of medical marijuana. The measure also proposes introducing state-operated cannabis dispensaries, which would compete against existing shops.
Another thing some cannabis business peeps don’t like: the task force has also recommended a bad on all cannabis television, radio, and mobile ads.
So, you got to just wander around until you find a place, and then it’s likely to be the government trying to sell you weed with an almost 20% tax on it. We can get why some people might not be that into it. On the other hand, cheap weed for low-income patients? Pretty cool.
Photo via Flickr user Ron Reiring