Cannabis Reg. Update: Cannabis Taxes, Workplace Discrimination, Sales Launch In Vermont, NM Expungement

Cannabis Taxes & Tax Revenue in CO and WA: A New Report

Cannabis Taxes & Tax Revenue in CO and WA: A New Report

The Tax Policy Center reported that due to the lack of a standard cannabis tax in the US, governments use three different types of cannabis taxes, based on a percentage-of-price tax, a weight-based tax and a potency-based tax.

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Image by the Tax Policy Center

The report showed that in Fiscal Year 2022, Colorado “collected $353.7 million in

Moreover, researchers also detailed “each state’s cannabis tax system, provides data on cannabis tax revenue, explains the pros and cons of different cannabis taxes, and discusses the various goals of those taxes.”

Workplace Discrimination: Buffalo Firefighter Wants His Job Back

A 38-year-old firefighter, who served in the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, was fired from his job because he tested positive for marijuana though he is a certified medical marijuana patient who uses cannabis to treat PTSD and back pain.

Scott Martin, a 12-year veteran with the Buffalo Fire Department said that doctors prescribed him, “to treat his back pain, OxyContin and later shots of Tramadol” into his lower spine. “Imagine getting an epidural every three or four months,” he said. “I don’t get the injections anymore because of the medical marijuana. I’m not on any opiates anymore.” Thus, he proceeded with his legal action to get his job back.

Recently, State Supreme Court Judge Catherine Nugent Panepinto ruled that Martin can continue legal action to get his job back. However, Panepinto refused to reinstate him as requested. The judge said she will continue to review each side’s arguments before making a decision on whether he can return to duty.

Under the state’s Compassionate Care Act, “conditions that can be treated with cannabis should be considered disabilities, so firing him should be considered workplace discrimination,” said David Holland, Martin’s attorney.

Vermont Recreational Cannabis Sales Will Launch Soon

On Sep. 14, the Vermont Cannabis Control Board (CCB) issued adult-use retail licenses to Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland, FLORA Cannabis in Middlebury, and CeresMED in Burlington, formerly Champlain Valley Dispensary; which permits that at least these three Vermont stores will have adult-use cannabis sales beginning on Oct. 1.

“There’s nothing specifically saying that businesses must wait until Oct. 1 to begin sales, if they’re licensed,” Nellie Marvel, outreach and education manager for the CCB said. “They may opt to do so, as that’s the date everyone is familiar with, but they do not necessarily have to. Others may opt to wait until the supply chain becomes more established—this is a decision every business owner will have to make for themselves.”

According to a news release from SLANG Worldwide (CSE:SLNG) (OTCQB:SLGWF), the company’s subsidiary CeresMED will launch recreational marijuana sales at its 190 College Street location on Oct. 1, reported the Green Report Market.

Vermont is the 15th U.S. state marijuana market that SLANG has entered so far, according to the release.

Other stores plan on launching as soon as they can get their affairs in order, the Burlington Free Press reported.

“It’s also important to underscore that these first licensed retailers don’t represent the end of the road in the journey towards a more sensible regulated cannabis market in Vermont,” Marvel added.

“Delays in licensing at the beginning of the process, especially for our outdoor cultivators, means that not everyone was able to participate in the market fully this year,” Marvel concluded. “This also means we’re likely to see early supply shortages, which has happened in the initial rollout of each adult-use state as the supply chain continues to develop.”

New Mexico: Courts Seek To Alter Cannabis Expungement

Recently, the Chief Justice of New Mexico’s Supreme Court said that the state’s judicial branch “will seek changes during the upcoming 60-day legislative session to a 2021 law that mandates small-level cannabis convictions be expunged from criminal records.”

Shannon Bacon, Supreme Court Chief Justice said when lawmakers legalized adult-use marijuana sales, it “placed a heavy burden on judicial staffers who have had to sift through voluminous criminal records to determine which convictions qualify to be purged. Instead of putting the onus on the judicial branch to identify and expunge cannabis-related convictions, it should be up to affected individuals to file applications for such action,” Bacon said during a meeting of the legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee.

“We think there’s a more straightforward and simplistic way to handle this that will take what has been an incredibly onerous process off the judiciary and put the control in the hands of the person that’s had the conviction.”

Under the expungement law, criminal convictions for trafficking or possession of large amounts of marijuana – more than 2 ounces – are not eligible to be expunged since purchase and public possession of such an amount of cannabis remains illegal under the state’s cannabis legalization law, reported the Albuquerque Journal.
In addition, Barry Massey, spokesperson for the state Administrative Office of the Courts, said “there is no data available yet as to exactly how many New Mexico residents have had their past cannabis-related convictions expunged since the law took effect (…) There was no data as to the number of objections filed by prosecutors in advance of a July 1 deadline.” 

Image by Benzinga

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