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Published on Friday, February 14, 2014

Keep talking to your Senators about SB 5887 giving cities a share of marijuana revenue

Thank you to everyone who responded to the action alerts last week by contacting your legislators. Your voices have an impact. We need you to keep up the pressure by contacting your Senator and asking them to support SSB 5887.

SSB 5887 provides locals with approximately 10 percent of the marijuana excise tax collected and it reconciles the medical and recreational marijuana systems. The bill has not yet been heard in Ways & Means, but the sponsor, Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), has been told it is still alive and necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). We believe the bill will be heard soon which is why we need you to continue to let Senators know that this bill is important.

Unfortunately the house bill, HB 2144, that contained revenue sharing failed to pass out of the House Appropriations prior to the fiscal cutoff on February 11. A special thanks to City of Fife Mayor Glenn Hull for coming to Olympia to testify on this bill on very short notice. We had only about 18 hours notice when the bill was scheduled for public hearing. While we supported the revenue sharing provision, the bill had been compromised when it was amended to include a very broad preemption of any local authority over marijuana businesses. AWC continues to oppose any preemption over local authority.

Legislators are still reluctant about providing a share of the revenue to cities because they say that not enough is known about how much revenue will be generated and what the impacts will be. Please let your legislators know that cities cannot wait until next year to receive a share of the funds. Legalization is moving forward and businesses will begin operating in the next few months. If the legislature doesn’t act now, a full year will pass during which time the businesses will be operating and local jurisdictions will not receive any additional resources. We don’t have time to wait and need them to act now.

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