Report Finds Legal Cannabis States Generated $8 Billion In Tax Revenue Since Adult Sales Launched
Cannabis News Update May 26, 2021
Today in cannabis news: A report finds legal cannabis states have generated nearly $8 billion in tax revenue since recreational sales launched, a Connecticut state House Representative says that a statewide cannabis legalization deal is expected this week; and top candy making corporations file lawsuits in federal courts against cannabis edible makers over trademark infringements.
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** First up: States that have legalized cannabis for adult use have collectively generated nearly $8 billion in tax revenue from cannabis since legal sales first began in 2014, according to a new report from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
The analysis examined the tax structure and revenue streams of all 18 states that have legalized recreational cannabis, though sales have not launched yet in seven of those states. Overall, it shows that establishing regulated marijuana markets gives states a steady and generally growing source of revenue that can support various programs and services.
Last year alone, the adult-use states collected $2.7 billion in taxes from cannabis sales. And as more markets come online and others mature, that’s expected to continue to grow.
Reform advocates aren’t the only ones interested in seeing how states are approaching the tax side of cannabis legalization. The U.S. Census Bureau also has plans to begin collecting and compiling data on revenue that states generate from legal cannabis.
** Next up: By the end of the week, a leading Connecticut state legislator hopes to settle on an agreement with Governor Ned Lamont (D) on a proposal to legalize cannabis statewide. There is a reason for rapidity to pass the legislation as the legislative session ends on June 9.
A proposal that Gov. Lamont introduced as part of their budget to recreationally legalize cannabis passed the Judiciary Committee last month upon being revised by the subcommittee. If a cannabis bill isn’t passed this year, Lamont indicated that they expect the matter to be put to a vote.
“I think we have a general agreement in terms of the important issues that have been out there for most of the session, which is getting around this definition of an equity applicant and ensuring that equity is the basis for passing that bill,” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (D) said, adding that “We’re going to continue to hopefully meet today and tomorrow. I’m hoping to have some more formalized agreement by the end of this week.”
** Last up: Top candy making corporations are cracking down on cannabis edible companies knocking off their branding for marketing purposes, with the Wrigley Company the latest to join in by filing three federal court lawsuits against three cannabis brands: 2020Ediblez, Packaging Papi LLC, and Terphogz LLC.
Wrigley claims that these businesses are violating its trademarks by marketing THC-infused sweets that look similar to Skittles, Life Savers, and Starbursts. Moreover, Wrigley claims that these ripoff items jeopardize the corporation’s core business because cannabis goods are not lawful for children to eat.
A spokesperson told Reuters: “At Mars Wrigley we take great pride in making fun treats that parents can trust giving to their children and children can enjoy safely. We are deeply disturbed to see our trademarked brands being used illegally to sell THC-infused products.”
Upon the brands in contention are a Zombie Skittles product with almost an indistinguishable design apart from small cannabis leaves on the packaging, a “Cannaburst” gummy product with a color palette and style similar to Starbursts, and a Life Savers product with the terms “medicated” and “THC” as the only big clues to the distinction.
In the past, related counterfeits have been pursued by candy companies Hershey, Mondelez, and Ferrara, resulting in the cannabis companies eventually standing down.