Governors from different states in the country have been proclaiming their cannabis reform plans and accomplishments as part of their annual budget requests and State of the State speeches. The proposals and statements from state executives show how marijuana has grown more mainstream, as its being discussed in venues alongside infrastructure, education and taxes.
Below are some of the things governors said about cannabis in 2022.
Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota is focused on the proper implementation of the state’s medical marijuana program, which was recently launched. In an interview, Noem stated that she was focused on ensuring that the state had the most responsible, safe and well-run medical marijuana program in the country.
Ralph Northam, the former governor of Virginia, discussed the criminal justice implications of Virginia’s move to legalize marijuana in 2021 during his final address earlier this month, thanking lawmakers who supported the reform. The state’s current governor, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, noted that before creating a market for commercial cannabis sales and production, some work needed to be done.
Gov. Dan McKee included a measure to legalize cannabis as part of his annual budget plan this year, which makes it the second time he has done so. If approved, the measure mandates that automatic marijuana expungements occur in the state. This is in addition to allowing individuals aged 21 and above to possess and buy up to an ounce of marijuana and store up to five ounces of cannabis in their primary residencse.
The measure will also apply a weight-based excise tax on cannabis growing, a retail excise tax of 10% and sales tax upon marijuana transactions.
Earlier this month, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced plans to establish a $200 million public-private fund that will promote social equity in the state’s flourishing cannabis market. The governor highlighted the importance of creating opportunities for all individuals in the state, in particular, those from historically marginalized communities.
Projections show that the state’s cannabis market will generate billions in revenue, especially after marijuana business licenses are approved.
In her State of the State speech, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico discussed the economic potential of the cannabis industry under the legalization initiative she signed in 2021. The state plans to expand its economic footprint in communities and create thousands of employment opportunities as well as revenue to support local services in the state.
Given the multifaceted effects that the products of cannabis companies such as RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) are triggering in people’s lives, it isn’t surprising that many state governors are touting the successes of this nascent industry.
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