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Published on Friday, January 31, 2014

Marijuana proposals continue to draw attention in the legislature

Thank you to all of the city officials who testified this week in the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee. Cities showed up in strong numbers to support HB 2144 that provides marijuana revenue sharing, and to oppose two bills that pre-empt local authority over marijuana businesses, HB 2322 and HB 2638.

We must continue to keep up the pressure. If you haven’t already done so, please contact the members of this Committee and ask them to advance HB 2144 but oppose HB 2322 and HB 2638.

Contact information:

More action on marijuana bills in the Senate and the House

Two Senate bills previously heard in the Senate Health Care Committee will again be heard this week, but in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee February 5 at 1:30pm. SB 5887 and SB 6178 both would reconcile medical and recreational marijuana. Originally, both bills shared marijuana revenue with cities and counties; however, amendments in the Health Care Committee removed the revenue sharing provision from SB 6178. SB 5887 would still share 15 percent of the first 25 percent excise tax and 15 percent of the third excise tax on marijuana with the jurisdiction where the marijuana was produced or sold. This equates to about 10 percent of the total excise tax revenue.

AWC continues to support both bills as good attempts to reconcile medical and recreational marijuana. Our focus needs to be supporting SB 5887 because it also includes local revenue sharing.

Please contact members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and ask them to advance SB 5887 and provide local governments with a share of marijuana revenue.

Also up for a second hearing is HB 2149, the house version of the medical and recreational reconciliation proposal. This bill was previously heard in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee February 7 at 1:30pm. AWC will continue to support this reconciliation proposal as well.

Other marijuana proposals

Last week we were pleased to see Sen. Baumgartner (R-Spokane) introduce SB 6393 which would provide cities with $20 million in marijuana revenue to hire more police officers. Representative Holy (R-Spokane) introduce a similar bill, HB 2732, which would provide funding for police officers to focus on gang activity. While the approach is different from what AWC has been seeking, we appreciate the interest in seeing that cities receive a share of this new revenue and their willingness to work with us on an approach that works.

There are also a number of other marijuana-related bills, primarily focused on technical corrections or prevention efforts. AWC staff will continue to monitor these proposals and will provide more information as necessary.

For more information please contact Candice Bock or Brittany Sill.