The top 5 weed news stories of the week.
1. GOP Debate Highlights Varying Party Stances on Legalization
Republican presidential candidates convened for the second GOP debate, hosted by CNN. In a surprising twist, cannabis took center stage as the topic of discussion among the candidates. The candidates’ stances on cannabis and legalization were across the board from Chris Christie’s hardline prohibitionist rhetoric to Rand Paul’s Libertarian view of allowing states to decide whether cannabis should be legal. The debate provides a great deal of insight into which GOP candidates to support in order to ensure the cannabis industry does not have any setbacks.
[Full Story: Huffington Post]
2. Colorado Tax-Reduction Day
Wednesday, September 16th, drew large crowds to Colorado recreational marijuana stores. The demand was the result of a “Tax-Reduction Day”, due to the state’s Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR). The state generated more marijuana tax revenue than was allocated. According to the Colorado Constitution, this excess requires lawmakers to waive taxes. Colorado lawmakers agreed to waive the 15 percent wholesale excise tax and 10 percent special marijuana sales tax for one day.
[Full Story: New York Times]
3. Ronda Rousey
Shortly after Nick Diaz received a five-year suspension from the Ultimate Fighting Championship for a positive marijuana test, the number one female fighter in the world expressed her discontent with the decision. At a UFC 193 Press Conference in Melbourne, Australia, Ronda Rousey articulated that mixed martial artists should not be tested for marijuana. Since then, more fighters have come out against the suspension, some even refusing to fight.
[Full Story: MassRoots]
4. CA Passes MMJ Regulations
Last week, California lawmakers passed a historic piece of legislation to regulate the state’s medical marijuana program. The system will establish the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to reign in the 20-year old system. The new structure will create state and local licensing systems, as well as require medical marijuana businesses to pay taxes. While the new rules are not perfect, it is a step in the right direction with legalization on the horizon for 2016.
[Full Story: High Times]
5. Colorado Collected more Taxes from Cannabis than from Alcohol in 2014
Colorado’s Department of Revenue reports that it collected almost $70 million in marijuana taxes from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. This figure is nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol taxes during the same period. While this is a good sign for the legalization movement, it does not mean more cannabis was purchased than alcohol, as marijuana taxes are substantially higher than the state’s alcohol taxes.
[Full Story: Forbes]