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Councilmember, David Grosso, presented B20-466, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013, to three committees last year. Today Thursday October 30 at 11:00am, sections 6,7,8, and 9 of this bill will be revisited by two of those committees.

The Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act permits adults aged twenty-one years and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes. It also establishes regulations for the retailer and producer application processes, licensing and operation as well as for cultivating, processing, packaging, and selling marijuana products. Under this act, marijuana would be regulated in the same manner as alcohol.

The revised sections clarify that marijuana sales are only legal if performed by a state licensed vendor. Tax rates for medical and recreational marijuana sales are also established under these sections with taxes, fees, and forfeitures being collected to form a dedicated marijuana fund that will be used to give back to the community. All excess funds collected will be distributed quarterly among youth, law enforcement, corrections, and behavior health organizations in the District of Columbia.

For now, this may just be a testimony hearing before the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and the Committee on Finance and Revenue, but it may also be another step toward legitimacy for the retail cannabis industry. The results next week, after residents vote on Initiative 71, a bill which legalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana for of-age adults and personal cultivation in a private residence, will be a sneak peak into the future of marijuana law in the District of Columbia and the rest of the nation.

photo credit: Carlos Gracia

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