A legislator from Missouri is calling for the legalization of recreational cannabis as a way to generate revenue for the state of Missouri while also eliminating the cannabis black market.
This is the first time a Missouri Republican representative is calling for the legalization of recreational cannabis. If the proposed amendment is approved, it would also expunge the records of individuals with previous cannabis charges.
The proposed amendment would set up the Smarter and Safer Missouri Act. Rep. Shamed Dogan of the Republican Party stated that more law enforcement resources and time was spent pursuing cannabis smokers than all other drugs, with marijuana possession arrests making up 10% of arrests in the state.
Dogan added that it was time for the state of Missouri to establish its own restrictions and regulations that would govern marijuana legalization, given that 16 states had already legalized cannabis. He cautioned that alcohol prohibition had taught officials that trying to forbid a substance in the way that cannabis was being treated would backfire.
The proposed amendment would permit residents of Missouri who are 21 years and older to use marijuana. Additionally, it would allow for the removal of cannabis from the state of Missouri’s list of controlled substances.
Apart from this, if the amendment was approved, it would also automatically allow for the release of any individuals serving a prison sentence for minor cannabis offenses. This would be followed with an expungement of the individual’s record if they had been charged with a nonviolent cannabis offense. However, this would only apply if the individual had committed a cannabis offense.
In addition to this, the amendment cites that there is no restriction applied on the amount of cannabis an individual can legally possess.
Earlier in 2018, voters of Missouri had approved the state’s medical cannabis program, with the ballot question taking the win by 65% of the votes. Following this win, the state of Missouri has issued 358 business licenses, which have generated millions for the Missouri veterans fund.
The proposed amendment would also impose a 12% tax on recreational cannabis, one of the lowest compared to other cannabis taxes in the country, and a 4% tax on medical cannabis, which has already been implemented. Additionally, the legislation would not cap the number of licenses issued in the state, unlike the medical cannabis program.
Dogan explained that the legalization would bring in hundreds of millions of tax dollars to the state annually, which could not only be allocated to the veterans but also to infrastructure and drug-treatment programs.
In Michigan where recreational cannabis was legalized not so many years ago, numerous companies are thriving. An example is Gage Cannabis Co., which plans to go public early this year and is set to have more than 25 operational provisioning (dispensary) locations across the state.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Gage Cannabis Co. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/GAGE
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