Slightly more than a week after five states voted to legalize marijuana in some way, legislators in Texas have started pre-filing bills aimed at enacting marijuana reforms in the conservative U.S. state.
In only two days, a total of 13 marijuana-related bills targeting the 2021 legislative session of Texas were pre-filed. One of those bills seeks to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by adults; another wants to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and protect people who genuinely think they are in possession of hemp but are found with marijuana. Still a third is designed to put the issue of marijuana legalization before voters in the state.
While most of those bills seek to make massive reforms to marijuana policy in Texas, the most far-reaching is a legalization bill that has been sponsored by a newly elected state senator. Democrat Roland Gutierrez is currently a member of the state assembly and is waiting to join the senate in January. His bill, Senate Bill 140, intends to allow Texans who are at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess and consume marijuana within the state. The bill also has provisions establishing a regulated marijuana market in Texas.
The senator-elect has largely premised his bill on the potential financial benefits that the state is likely to enjoy once a regulated marijuana industry is established. For example, the lawmaker states that the marijuana industry has the potential to inject about $3.6 billion into the Texas economy in addition to bringing a minimum of 30,000 new jobs to the state.
His figures aren’t wishful thinking as estimates done by Vicente Sederberg LLC, a law firm, indicate that a legal marijuana industry can earn Texas at least $1.1 billion in taxes as well as millions extra from license and other fees.
These financial benefits come at just the right time as state officials say Texas will have a deficit of $4.6 billion as the legislature resumes business in January 2021.
Gutierrez jumps on this fact, noting that marijuana legalization provides a solution to raising the needed funds without burdening ordinary Texans with additional taxes. Ironically, the money the incoming state senator talks about receiving from a legal marijuana industry will come from excise and sales taxes levied on those products. However, this method of getting the needed resources may be more acceptable to Texans as they could see it as the price they have to pay to access cannabis legally within the state.
Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) is an interesting entity you need to give lots of attention to if you follow the cannabis industry. The company, based in British Columbia, specializes in extracting plant compounds, particularly marijuana compounds. PULL recently ventured into the medicinal and functional mushrooms space.
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