New democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, plans to release a budget that could be partly built of business revenues from licenses from marijuana companies. However, those licenses cannot be sold unless the drug is legalized recreationally. Thus, he is aiming to legalize the drug recreationally before the next fiscal year starts on July 1st. His goal would be to use this revenue to invest into the future of the state, the young ones and their education. He hopes that changes in the budget and where the money goes could bring the public school funding to an even playing field with that of private schools as well as take on some of the pension funds debts. Illinois hopes that recreational marijuana can make a real difference in many different kinds of ways.
Gov. Philip D. Murphy and his team seem to be close to a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for a big state, that is very close to New York. They have set parameters for legalization, hope to set a vote and get the drug legalized within the year. As other states are moving towards legalization, such a neighbouring New York, New Jersey wants to get a few steps ahead to reap the economic benefits before the states surrounding it. Generally, Cannabis is taxed at a percentage level however, Governor Murphy wants to tax the substance at about 42$ per ounce as this is a flat rate the percentage of taxation would be different depending on the quantity bought (if price of cannabis drops the rate won’t change which will thus make the tax percentage higher). Currently, he has opposition in the legislature but is still optimistic on a possible bill going through.
Interestingly enough, after the bill was announced a former state trooper, Nick Bucci, suggested marijuana should not be taxed at all. He argues that if the main goal of the state is to remove the black market and the dealers that come with it the drug should not be taxed at all in at least the first two years. He also argues that because of the lives changed and lost because of the drug steps should be taken to attempt to remediate those pasts scars. The State has the opportunity to receive about 300 million dollars in tax revenue thanks to marijuana. That clearly means that tax-less marijuana will be a hard idea to sell for Mr. Bucci.
Source: CBS New York