Key Wisconsin Agency Proposes Marijuana Legalization Be Included In Budget, Saying It Will Create $165M In Yearly Revenue

Key Wisconsin Agency Proposes Marijuana Legalization Be Included In Budget, Saying It Will Create 5M In Yearly Revenue
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The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) is asking the governor to again put recreational and medical marijuana legalization in his forthcoming executive budget, while the State Public Defender (SDP) is separately seeking decriminalization of cannabis possession, according to an overview of state agency budget requests for 2023. Gov. Tony Evers (D) has already pledged to put legalization in his upcoming budget, despite the GOP-controlled state legislature having repeatedly rejected similar executive requests to create recreational and medical cannabis programs. According to the new proposal, DOR is seeking the authority to issue retail marijuana permits and levy a 15 percent wholesale and 10 percent retail excise tax on adult-use marijuana sales. The agency estimates such sales would generate annual revenues of $165.8 million for Wisconsin beginning in 2024—money that Democrats complain is lost to the illicit market and legal marijuana programs in neighboring states like Illinois. DOR is also asking lawmakers to create a medical marijuana registry program through which qualified patients could obtain authorization to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Patients would not be required to pay taxes on those purchases. DOR’s request stipulated that a qualifying patient should be someone who is at least 18 years old and has been diagnosed by a physician as “having or undergoing a debilitating medical condition or treatment.” The agency did not ask for funding or full regulatory responsibility to administer and enforce the medical registry program or the taxation of recreational marijuana, but instead indicated it would “like to collaborate with the Governor and other state agencies about the resources needed to manage the program.” Evers, who won re-election last month, sought to legalize marijuana in his budget last year and campaigned on the issue. His 2019 budget request included decriminalization and medical cannabis legalization, but the GOP-controlled legislature has consistently blocked…

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Source : Key Wisconsin Agency Proposes Marijuana Legalization Be Included In Budget, Saying It Will Create 5M In Yearly Revenue

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