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Published on Friday, January 30, 2015

AWC priority bill to share marijuana excise tax revenue with cities scheduled for hearing

SB 5417 has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Monday, February 2 at 1:30 pm. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), is one of AWC’s priorities. The bill shares 33% of the excise tax revenue collected by the state with cities and counties per a distribution model that provides funding for jurisdictions based in-part on how much marijuana revenue is generated in their community, and also in-part on a per-capita basis for criminal justice purposes. The bill only provides revenue to jurisdictions that allow for the siting of marijuana businesses. Additionally, it allows for local authority for a city to modify the 1,000 foot buffer zone around certain uses. Please contact members of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee and encourage them to support this bill.

An alternative proposal to align medical and recreational marijuana is also scheduled for a hearing at the same committee meeting. SB 5519 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.

Another marijuana bill, PSHB 1461, has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Commerce & Gaming Committee on both February 2 and 3 to accommodate what will likely be a large amount of testimony. The bill is 131 pages and combines 19 different marijuana related bills that have been referred to the committee. The bill does include a revenue sharing provision for local governments. AWC staff will be testifying to indicate which proposals contained in the bill cities support and which we have concerns with.