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Published on Monday, March 30, 2015

Expected executive action on House marijuana bill – contact your legislators

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to act on SHB 2136 Tuesday, March 31 at 1:30 pm.

SHB 2136 is the House’s marijuana revenue sharing bill. It proposes:

  • A sales tax exemption for qualifying medical marijuana patients. (This is an exemption for the state and local sales tax but does not include an exemption from the marijuana excise tax.)
  • A restructuring of the marijuana excise tax that collapses the tax into one 30% tax collected at the final retail sale of marijuana products.
  • Allowing for local flexibility to reduce the current 1,000 foot buffer. Cities could adopt a buffer of between 1,000 and 100 feet from certain uses. The 1,000 foot buffer is still required for schools and playgrounds.

Additionally, the bill requires that SSB 5052, regulating medical marijuana, be enacted for this bill to take effect.

SHB 2136 also provides revenue sharing with local governments. This revenue sharing is contingent on appropriation in the 2015-2017 Operating Budget. As expected, the House Operating Budget released Friday, March 27 included $12 million in proposed revenue sharing with local governments. This would be distributed equally among the 2015-2017 biennium. SHB 2136 also proposes this amount. AWC is not satisfied with the $12 million and believes revenue sharing should be larger. After the 2015-2017 biennium SHB 2136 proposes a revenue sharing formula as follows:

  • Once the state’s General Fund has received $25 million in marijuana excise tax revenue, then 30%, up to a maximum of $20 million per year, will be distributed to cities and counties.
  • Counties will receive 60% and cities 40%. Distributions will be based on the taxable sales of the jurisdiction. Only jurisdictions that have retail sales will receive funding.
  • Revenue sharing will sunset in 2022.

In addition to our revenue sharing concerns, AWC is also concerned with other provisions. Cities’ message to members of the House Appropriations Committee should be:

  • Revenue sharing needs to be sufficient to help cities address local impacts and the amount of revenue sharing in this bill is too low. The amount of revenue shared should be larger, and the cap of $20 million per year should be removed to allow cities to benefit with revenue growth along with the state.
  • Revenue sharing needs to benefit all cities that allow licensed marijuana businesses. The current limitation on revenue sharing only for jurisdictions with retail sales should be replaced with the distribution method agreed to by cities and counties.
  • The sunset provision that ends revenue sharing in 2022 needs to be removed.

Please contact members of the House Appropriations Committee and your local legislators to share this message with them.

Categories: Marijuana, Take Action
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