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Michigan could receive up to $100 million a year in taxes from marijuana sales. (Courtesy Weed List)

WEED VOTE ON: November Ballot to Include Recreational Marijuana

Property Sales for Pot Boom in Bay City, Bangor Twp., Pinconning, AuGres

April 26, 2018       1 Comments
By: Dave Rogers

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As Bay City, Bangor Township, Pinconning and AuGres see a scramble to buy property for medical marijuana sales, the business may grow exponentially if voters approve a November ballot issue for recreational use.

Reports have confirmed that a state agency in Michigan has decided to include adult-use cannabis on the November ballot at a meeting today, according to High Times magazine. The State Board of Canvassers, a body that helps oversee elections in Michigan, determined that a petition drive to legalize recreational cannabis was successful.

The Bureau of Elections reported that cannabis activists had turned in enough petition signatures to put a legalization measure on the ballot and the State Board of Canvassers has now voted to approve that decision.

If successful, the proposed ballot measure would legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The state would then impose a tax on marijuana sales of 10 percent, plus the normal six percent sales tax. The state charges $6,000 for a marijuana license while Bay City is charging a $5,000 fee per license.

Revenue from those taxes could total as much as $100 million per year. The state could spend the money on roads and public education. Cities and counties that allow commercial cannabis businesses would also get a cut.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in more than 365,000 signatures of registered voters. They needed to collect just over 250,000 to qualify the measure for this year's election in November.

Josh Hovey spokesman for the coalition, said: "If successful, the proposed ballot measure would legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The state would then impose a tax on marijuana sales of 10 percent, plus the normal six percent sales tax.

Now that the state board has certified the signatures collected in the petition drive, the issue will be taken up by the legislature. Lawmakers could decide to pass their own legalization bill, which would then keep the issue off of the ballot.

Political consultant Dennis Darnoi believes that might be a good idea for the majority Republican Michigan legislature to legalize recreational pot in advance of the November election. Research has shown that marijuana initiatives increase voter turnout. And high turnout at election time is usually a good omen for Democratic candidates.

"So by legalizing cannabis themselves, the legislature could avoid attracting those extra voters to the polls," he said. That could help protect the majority in an election year that's already looking dangerous for Republicans.

However, the Michigan Senate seems opposed to that idea. Sen. Rick Jones, Grand Ledge Republican, says "there's absolutely no chance" the Senate will take up the recreational pot approval, stating the majority of the GOP caucus is against the idea.

Bay City has approved up to 25 medical marijuana licenses and a rush to buy or lease downtown buildings has real estate sales firms giddy. The approval of recreational pot may, however, cause city and township councils to review their medical marijuana policies, political observers indicated.

In January, Michigan Marijuana Licensing Experts LLC moved into the old PNC Bank building. It is headquartered in suite 201 of the building at 300 Center Ave. The firm previously operated a consumer-data business in Pinconning.

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"The BUZZ" - Read Feedback From Readers!

mpijaszek Says:       On May 02, 2018 at 10:59 AM
How many times have we heard that, "could be used for roads and public education", they're all money hungry.

Maybe the bridges would be a better topic for this use! The people that support this issue could pay for the bridge repairs, I'm all for that.
Agree? or Disagree?


Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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