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Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Israel Pushes Forward

Marijuana Legalization in Israel

Marijuana Legalization in Israel

Recreational marijuana legalization in Israel is continuing to move forward. They have developed a road map to legalize possibly within one year. Israel is modeling their plan based on Canada’s legalization model and would push to create a regulated market for recreational marijuana products.

Israeli Cannabis Magazine reported that Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s justice minister, stated a legal memo should be released by the end of this month. It would then be presented to the Knesset in December for a first vote. If approved, Nissenkorn said the law would go into effect in approximately nine months.

The proposal comes just one week after New Zealand narrowly rejected a movement to set up a billion-dollar market for controlled recreational use marijuana.

in the Times of Israel newspaper, Nissenkorn also stated, “It is time to generate progress and legalize marijuana in Israel. This is a significant, holistic and responsible reform, which suggests that the State of Israel is not ignoring reality and is going in the footsteps of developed nations.”

Israeli Cannabis Magazine reported that Israel’s proposed model is expected to resemble Canada’s. The model will start with a strong emphasis on public health and carving out a large enough playing field for legal companies.

Proponents of the initiative are planning to hold the first of three essential votes in the Knesset in December, ahead of its potential dissolution for a general election. By completing the initial vote, or reading, it would enable parliamentarians to pick up where they left off after the election.

The announcement comes four months after an interministerial committee began meeting to discuss how to govern a possible legal recreational marijuana market.

Significant Tax Revenue Expected

“Research institutes that analyzed the industry discovered that the value of the Israeli illegal marijuana market is over NIS (New Israeli Shekels) 6 billion annually ($1.7 billion), which should bring Israel roughly NIS 2 billion annually from taxes and as much as a billion more from savings in enforcement resources.” A study found that Israel could make 11.3 billion-19.6 billion NIS in tax revenue in the first five years of a legalized and regulated marijuana industry.

Two marijuana related bills are now being combined based on recent studies. Those bills were introduced as private-member proposals earlier in the year but faced little probability of acceptance without being sponsored by the Israeli government. The joint bill is expected to lay the groundwork for anybody in Israel 21 years of age or older to purchase adult-use marijuana products.

There are small differences to Canada’s legalization roadmap. For instance, the bill isn’t anticipated to allow home farming. That component has been demonstrated to be a successful market in Canada.

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Connecticut House Speaker says Cannabis Legalization is “Inevitable”

Marijuana Legalization in CT

Marijuana Legalization in CT “Inevitable”

Matt Ritter, the incoming Connecticut House of Representatives speaker said on Tuesday that cannabis legalization is “inevitable.” Due to Connecticut surrounding jurisdictions enacting changes in their marijuana legalization policies. This is a good news for marijuana legalization in CT.

During a recent briefing, Matt Ritter (Democrat), House Speaker-designate, was asked about strategies to encourage economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic and specifically whether legalizing marijuana to create tax revenue would be a part of their strategy.

Ritter stated, “Look, I really don’t want to get into policy discussion. We’ve got a caucus we have to have, but marijuana has been a long time, I have said I think it is inevitable at some stage, particularly when your neighboring states do it.” Ritter also said, “we do not have earnings yet so it’s quite tough to say where we are going to be.”

While Ritter stopped short of committing to a deadline to pass legalization legislation, the opinions bode well for the prospects of marijuana legalization in CT reform in 2021.

Ritter confessed that surrounding states are implementing cannabis policy changes, which is adding pressure to Connecticut to pass similar legislation so revenue opportunities don’t go out of state. There has been ongoing talks about the need to organize legalization plans from a regional viewpoint. Those talks are being ramped up since New Jersey voters approved a marijuana legalization referendum this past week.

Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont (Democrat), said last week that marijuana legalization in CT will improve public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic by preventing cannabis tourism to surrounding states. Lamont also stated that officials have “got to think regionally in regards to how we deal with the pandemic and I believe we need to think regionally in regards to cannabis legislation.”

Lamont and other policymakers in surrounding states also said last week that the passing of marijuana legalization in New Jersey underscores the need for their own states to progress marijuana legalization reform in a regionally coordinated fashion .

Connecticut’s state legislature increased the already Democrat majority in last week’s elections. This helps increase the changes of marijuana legalization in CT in 2021. Lamont stated the reform is “on the table” and that it should bring in needed tax revenue for Connecticut.

Be sure to check out: MORE Act set for House Vote in December

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Colorado Governor Doesn’t Want Texas to Legalize Marijuana

Colorado Discourages Texas From Legalizing Marijuana

The governor of Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, saying it would mean less tax revenue for his own state from marijuana tourism. He may have been joking  with the statement, but there is some truth to how he and other legal recreational use state politicians feel.

Governor Jared Polis (Demcrat-CO) tweeted, “That may be true BUT it would decrease tourism to Colorado, so be certain you consider Colorado first in any Texas decisions.” The governor was reacting to a Marijuana Moment study on a new economic analysis that revealed how Texas stands to create billions in tax revenue and tens of thousands of jobs if it enacted the policy shift.

Governor Polis has a track record of making comments about the cannabis tourism revenue Colorado receives from non-residents visiting recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. Soon after he was sworn in this past year, Polis said “we get a great deal of extra business from those coming to our state” and so “from the financial standpoint of Colorado, I would like other states to go slowly so that we may continue to reap all these advantages for Colorado.”

Polis also said, “For years, I had been kind of countering this type of dire picture of Colorado, but if they think that it is bad, it is better for us to have less competition at this time. I mean, if I am looking at it as the Governor of Colorado, I’d hope they halt their attempts and drive all their business here.” So if Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, it’s not a surprise that Polis is behind the sentiment.

Colorado continues to have record breaking sales every month and and while he has been quick to tout the financial advantages of regulating cannabis sales in Colorado, Polis has also highlighted the need for restorative justice in the marijuana industry. Earlier this month, he exercised new clemency powers to grant almost 3,000 pardons for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes.

Meanwhile, Polis is not the only governor making note of the fact that his state sells legal cannabis to those who reside in places where it’s still prohibited. Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker (Democrat), spoke about how his state’s new recreational marijuana market “gives us a opportunity to collect tax revenue from the residents of Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana.”