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Published on Friday, February 6, 2015

More activity on marijuana related legislation

On Monday, February 9, the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee is scheduled to take executive action to advance SB 5417, AWC’s priority marijuana revenue sharing bill. This is an important step in the continued effort to secure revenue sharing for local governments. If you have a Senator on the Commerce & Labor Committee, please let them know how important this bill is before the hearing at 1:30 on Monday.

The Commerce & Labor Committee is also hearing a number of marijuana related bills on February 13 at 8:00 am.

  • SB 5398 defines public place for the purposes of prohibiting consumption of marijuana as equivalent to the prohibitions on consuming liquor in public. Public place generally includes the following: streets, alleys, and roads; public buildings; the halls, lobbies, and dining rooms of hotels, restaurants, and other businesses used by the public; public conveyances; publicly owned beaches, parks, and playgrounds; and, all other places where the general public has unrestricted right of access, and which are generally used by the public.
  • SB 5402 makes it a misdemeanor for an adult to help a minor purchase marijuana and creates a civil infraction for someone under 21 to try to purchase marijuana.
  • SB 5519 focuses on medical marijuana. It eliminates collective gardens effective August 2016 and directs the Liquor Control Board to reopen the license application process to allow for additional recreational marijuana licensees. SB 5519 also creates a medical endorsement for those selling to qualified patients. Additionally, the proposal allows for home grows of up to six plants for recreational use, and up to 15 plants for qualifying medical patients or their designated providers. SB 5519 would also require a public vote for a jurisdiction to prohibit marijuana businesses.

We also saw the introduction of another proposal to share revenue with local governments. Rep. Carlyle (D-Seattle) introduced HB 2008 which would provide for revenue sharing with cities and counties once the State’s General Fund has received $25 million in excise tax revenue. One this occurs point cities and counties would receive 30% of the revenue going to the General Fund (which is equal to about 18.7% of the revenue). Revenue sharing would be capped at $20 million per year and end in 2022. Jurisdictions that prohibit marijuana businesses would not receive any revenue sharing. The bill makes revenue sharing contingent on passage of HB 1461 which is currently an omnibus bill with numerous provisions. It is expected that the contents of HB 1461 will be narrowed as it comes out of committee and will contain a new flattened tax structure instead of the current 25% excise tax at each transaction point. We are appreciative of Rep. Carlyle’s efforts and hope to continue the revenue sharing conversation.

Categories: Marijuana