Wisconsin Governor Unveils Marijuana Legalization Details In Budget Proposal

MJ moment

The governor of Wisconsin released a budget plan on Tuesday that calls for legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana in the state. Despite vocal resistance from leaders in the Republican-controlled legislature, Gov. Tony Evers (D) moved forward with attaching the reform to his proposal. It would allow adults 21 and older, or qualifying patients, to purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use. Evers, who first announced he would put legal cannabis in his fiscal request earlier this month, didn’t specifically mention the policy during his budget speech on Tuesday. But the text of the plan as submitted to lawmakers offers an in-depth look at what the program would look like. “The Governor believes it is time to join other states, including two of our neighbors, who have legalized recreational marijuana,” an explanatory document from his office says. Under the proposal, adult residents could buy and possess up to two ounces of marijuana, while out-of-state visitors could have up to a quarter ounce. People could grow up to six plants for themselves. The governor’s plan calls for a 15 percent wholesale excise tax on cannabis, in addition to a 10 percent retail excise tax on marijuana sales. Medical cannabis sales would not be subject to the sales tax. According to a fiscal impact analysis, Wisconsin stands to bring in $165.8 million in annual tax revenue starting in fiscal year 2022-23. Sixty percent of those funds would go to a new “community reinvestment fund” and the rest would be deposited in the state’s general fund. Of the nearly $80 million of that revenue that’s expected to be set aside for community reinvestment, Evers proposed using $10 million for grants “to promote diversity and advance equity and inclusion,” $10 million for community health worker grants, $10 million for “equity action plan grants,”…

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