Michigan’s Marijuana Ballot Initiative Campaigns Heat Up, Latest Finance Filings Show

Michigan’s Marijuana Ballot Initiative Campaigns Heat Up, Latest Finance Filings Show

Reports from Friday’s filing deadline for Michigan campaign committees show that, of the five committees formed to support or oppose the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, three of the groups are still actively receiving and spending money.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a pro-reform group, reported a total of $529,277 in contributions in the last three months. More than $460,000 of that (87 percent) came from three sources.

New Approach PAC, a national group that has supported cannabis ballot measures in other states in past election cycles, contributed $351,000 from August through mid-October. That’s in addition to a late contribution report filed on Friday 6 to the tune of $67,500. The PAC had also contributed $165,000 from May through July, 2018.

The national pro-legalization organization Marijuana Policy Project provided $110,000 this quarter, building on previous donations this year of $444,205.

The only donation of over $5,000 from an individual came from Rick Steves, a travel writer and cannabis reform advocate, who contributed $50,000. Steves has been attacked by prohibition groups for his efforts in Michigan and North Dakota. The remaining smaller donations came from 126 individuals.

Prohibitionist group Healthy and Productive Michigan (HAPM) reported contributions of $1,086,370. More than $650,000 of that came from the national anti-legalization organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). SAM also provided $128,338 worth of in-kind services in the last quarter, having already provided $500,000 in in-kind services previously in 2018.

Energy corporations and their executives were also heavy contributors to HAPM, with Michigan Energy First donating $250,000 to the cause. The chairman of DTE Energy, Gerard Anderson, donated $50,000—and Jerry Norcia, the company’s president and COO, donated $15,000. The president of DTE Electric, Trevor Lauer, donated $2,500, as did Mark Stiers, president of DTE Gas.

Other executives who made sizable contributions to HAPM include Meijer Grocery Vice Chairman Mark Murray, who donated $50,000. And J.C. Huizenga of Huizenga Group put in $51,000.

Beyond the $1.1 million disclosed in the October 26 report, the group provided individual late contributions of $125,000. $50,000 of that came from Business Leaders for Michigan, with another $50,000 from ITC Holdings. Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee donated $15,000, and billionaire William Parfet donated $10,000.

The group originally recorded a late contribution report that they had received $600,000 from AdVictory LLC. But the Associated Press’s David Eggert tweeted on Friday morning that the company had informed him this was a filing error, and that they had in fact been the recipient of funds to create ads for HAPM. The PAC reported $40,000 in payments to AdVictory in their July filings to the Secretary of State, but no payments in the October filing. In a revised contribution report, AdVictory was removed from contributors.

Three other committees showed little or no activity. Abrogate Prohibition Michigan said it had received $23 and spent $22. The Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools filed a report indicating they had neither received or spent any funds in the past quarter.

MI Legalize 2018, another pro-legalization PAC, reported that it had raised $22,319 in the most recent funding quarter. Unlike the other PACS, its donations came mainly from small donors. Mark Sellers, the Owner of Barfly ventures, which operates a set of restaurant and bars, contributed $10,000. Another individual contributed $5,000. The remaining contributions came from 106 additional individuals, who donated an average of $69.05 each.

As for how much the committees have left of the funds they’ve raised, two have substantial sums to spend. In its Friday report, Healthy and Productive Michigan declared that it had $697,268 left in the bank. With the late contributions reported, it potentially has $827,268 on hand to spend in the last week and a half before Michigan voters go to the polls. Meanwhile, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol reported $151,264 in the bank, so with late contributions, has $218,764.

MILegalize2018 disclosed a $9,462 balance, while the Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools reported $3,075 on hand. Abrogate Prohibition Michigan has spent everything it brought in, leaving them with $2.98.

In separate contributions that haven’t yet been officially reported, the Drug Policy Alliance also recently pledged $25,000 to the Michigan legalization measure, in addition to contributions to North Dakota’s legalization campaign and a half dozen candidates who back marijuana policy reform.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Michigan’s Marijuana Ballot Initiative Campaigns Heat Up, Latest Finance Filings Show

Michigan Officials: Legal Marijuana Will Create Even More Revenue Than Activists Predicted

Michigan Officials: Legal Marijuana Will Create Even More Revenue Than Activists Predicted

If Michigan voters elect to legalize marijuana in November, the state can expect to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue over the next five years, according to a new report from the non-partisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency.

In fact, the new estimates are even higher than those projected by the group sponsoring the legalization ballot measure.

While that group, Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol In Michigan, predicted that the state would collect about $520 million in cannabis sales and excise tax revenue in the five years after implementation, the government estimate is closer to $730 million over the same time span.

Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency

Via Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency.

The initiative, Proposition 1, would impose a 10 percent excise tax on non-medical cannabis sales in addition to the state’s six percent sales tax. It would also eliminate a three percent tax on medical cannabis “provisioning centers,” which was accounted for in the fiscal report.

Where would all that money go?

The 10 percent excise tax revenue would be distributed for transportation infrastructure (35 percent), schools (35 percent) and local jurisdictions that permit adult-use marijuana businesses to operate in their municipalities and counties (15 percent each).

Based on the government report, that means that by the 2022-23 fiscal year, out of of $252 million in total marijuana tax revenue, about $126 million will go toward road construction and K-12 education funds on an annual basis from the excise tax alone. On top of that, schools would receive an additional $77 million a year due to marijuana commerce, allocated from the state’s six percent sales tax.

Then, of course, there’s the cost savings of simply ending marijuana arrests and related prosecutions and incarcerations, as the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency noted. The proposition “could have a positive fiscal impact on State and local government,” according to the report.

“Fewer felony arrests and convictions could decrease resource demands on court systems, community supervision, jails, and correctional facilities. In 2016, 199 people were sentenced to prison for a marijuana-related felony conviction, and 3,620 were sentenced to jail, probation, or a combination of both.”

The chances that Michigan ends up legalizing marijuana for adult-use seem fairly strong. A September 2018 poll from The Detroit News and WDIV-TV found that 56 percent of likely Michigan voters favor fully legalizing cannabis, compared to just 38 percent who said the opposed ending prohibition.

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Michigan Officials: Legal Marijuana Will Create Even More Revenue Than Activists Predicted

Michigan Could Vote on Recreational Cannabis in 2016

Michigan Could Vote on Recreational Cannabis in 2016

Voters in Michigan may see marijuana on the ballot in 2016, as there are several groups putting together ballot proposals.

The Board of State Canvassers this week approved the wording of petitions from the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee and the Michigan Cannabis Coalition. Now, these groups will be tasked with gathering 252,523 signatures each in order to send legalization bills to the state legislature. In the event that lawmakers do not approve the measures, they would be put on the ballot in November 2016.

Under the Michigan Cannabis Coalition proposal, both marijuana and products infused with marijuana would be legal for purchase, ownership, transport and use by anyone older than 21. Further, adults older than 21 could grow up to two flowering plants at home.

The law allows the legislature to establish a tax and require facilities to be licensed. The Michigan Cannabis Control Board would be tasked with creating a number of measures to address advertising, testing, packaging and security.

michigan-marijuana

The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee issued a proposal that would allow the legal purchase, possession or use of marijuana for people older than 21. Under this measure, adults could also grow as many as 12 marijuana plants at home, though those plants could not be grown for sale.

Revenue collected from the sale of marijuana would be divided among the School Aid Fund, the state department of transportation and the local government. The MCCLRC proposal does address the issue of taxes, noting that any retail sales would come with a 10 percent excise tax on top of the state sales tax.

Both proposals uphold the current laws that prohibit marijuana use and driving, though the MCCLRC prevents the government from adopting a “per se” law.

Neither of these measures would affect medical marijuana, which is already legal in Michigan.

marijuana strains for adhd

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