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Bremerton, Port Orchard join request for pot revenue

blog.potThe heavily-taxed legal marijuana industry could generate close to $2 billion for the state over the next four years.

Local governments won’t see a dime of pot revenue directly, beyond what they collect from sales and business tax. That’s something many local leaders want to see changed.

Mayor Patty Lent of Bremerton and Mayor Tim Matthes of Port Orchard signed a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and leaders in the Legislature asking for some revenue to be directed toward local enforcement. Nearly 100 Washington mayors signed the request, compiled by the Association of Washington Cities.

The mayors argue the burden of enforcing the new marijuana law will be placed on local governments:

“The majority of marijuana sales and use will occur in our jurisdictions. This makes us responsible for overseeing permitting, code enforcement, ensuring money and drugs  stay out of criminal hands, preventing distribution to minors, and addressing drugged driving and other adverse public health consequences.

If the state is relying on local cities to enforce new marijuana laws, it needs to provide some of the new marijuana tax revenues to pay for it – this is a matter of common sense and fairness. It is estimated legalizing marijuana will give the state significant new annual tax revenue. We’re asking for a portion of those revenues.

Communities are already feeling the impacts of legalized marijuana, even before retail operations open this summer which will dramatically expand access. The state has only 69 liquor enforcement officers and they will only focus on licensing. All other oversight and enforcement falls to local governments.”

You can read the full letter below: Continue reading