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States, flush with marijuana money, are now fighting over what to do with it | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

Activists and politicians are sparring over whether marijuana cash should go to communities targeted by drug arrests. Legal marijuana sales have been a boon to revenues in 11 states. But as the marijuana tax revenue boosts state treasuries, activists and politicians are jockeying over how to spend it. In California, state marijuana growers are pushing…
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Activists and politicians are sparring over whether marijuana cash should go to communities targeted by drug arrests.
Legal marijuana sales have been a boon to revenues in 11 states. But as the marijuana tax revenue boosts state treasuries, activists and politicians are jockeying over how to spend it.

In California, state marijuana growers are pushing the Legislature to lower the taxes they’re required to pay, a move that child advocates say will cut funds meant for vulnerable communities. And on the East Coast, a battle over tax spending pushed back an early start of marjuana sales in Virginia.

More than $3 billion in marijuana revenue was generated in 2021. A handful of states over the last four years have attempted to pass laws directing a portion of that money to programs and grants aimed at neighborhoods and people who lawmakers and cannabis equity activists say were disproportionately targeted for arrests and imprisonment for drug possession during the past 50 years. Other programs give minority business owners priority access to cannabis business licenses. It’s those efforts that are causing fights.

Of the 11 states that collected recreational marijuana tax revenue in 2021, just four — California, Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts — spent money on such restorative justice and equity programs, according to an NBC News analysis of state fiscal year budgets. Illinois spent the most, devoting almost a quarter of its marijuana revenue to such programs. [Read More @ NBC News]

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