The Rotation: Vol. 29
Midterm Election Legalization Measures Results, Proposed Changes to Cannabis Tax Remittance Timelines, and Czech Republic Consulting with Germany on Cannabis Legalization
2 out of 5 States Vote Yes for Recreational Cannabis Legalization
Maryland and Missouri are the two newest states to pass amendments for cannabis legalization. However, similar legalization efforts fell short in North and South Dakota as well as Arkansas, reports TIME.
- In Maryland, adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and grow two plants beginning July 1, 2023.
- Passage of the amendment in Maryland also triggered a complementary bill that will expunge convictions for conduct that became legal under the new law, provide grants to better support minority and women-owned businesses in the cannabis industry, and remove criminal penalties for possession of 2.5 ounces or less of cannabis.
- In Missouri, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to six cannabis plants at home.
- A six percent tax on recreational cannabis sales will be imposed with revenue generated helping facilitate automatic expungements for people with certain non-violent marijuana offenses on their records.
- The Department of Health and Senior Services in Missouri will be responsible for regulating the program and issuing licenses for cannabis businesses with at least 144 microbusiness licenses being handed out through a lottery system and priority given to low-income applicants and people who have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization.
Coming out of the midterm elections, the results related to cannabis reform are being described as a mixed bag. With positive developments in Maryland and Missouri, but failed initiatives in deep red-states like Arkansas, suggests the potential limits of legalization efforts. Moreover, changes on a state-by-state basis are unlikely to have a significant impact on cannabis legalization on the Federal level. Despite the mixed results, important progress is still being made and although some aspects of the measures being adopted in Maryland and particularly Missouri have faced some criticism, we are still witnessing historic changes to the cannabis laws in these states.
New Bill Includes Changes to the Cannabis Excise Tax Remittance Timeline
Bill C-32, which includes several items related to income tax, excise tax and more was tabled in the House of Commons on November 3, 2022, reports StratCann.
- The proposed legislation would permit excise duty remittances for certain cannabis licensees to be made on a quarterly rather than a monthly basis.
- If passed, the changes to excise duty remittances would begin from the quarter that started on April 1, 2022.
- The bill would also enable the transfer of packaged, but unstamped, cannabis products between licensed cannabis producers; and would implement changes to the federal excise duty framework for vaping products in relation to the markings, customs storage, and excise duty liability of these products.
- The bill also attempts to provide clarity on the duty imposed on packaged cannabis and stamped cannabis, as well as who has responsibility to pay that duty.
Although many are arguing that bigger changes to excise tax are still needed, this is clearly a positive sign that the government is acknowledging these challenges and looking for solutions, albeit a temporary one in this case that likely doesn’t go far enough. Fortunately, as the article suggest, there is likely other changes currently being discussed in the background that may come to light soon that will likely entail more positive news for operators in the industry that are currently struggling to stay afloat and additional closures loom.
Cannabis Legalization in the Czech Republic
A bill is being drafted by the Czech Republic’s coalition government to regulate the cannabis industry with Czech officials looking to coordinate with Germany’s planned legalization efforts, reports Forbes.
- The bill is expected to be presented in March 2023, with full legalization potentially coming into effect by January 2024.
- In September, drug commissioner Jindřich Vobořil was put in charge of drafting a law to legalize adult-use cannabis, who announced they are in contact with German officials and want to harmonize its laws with Germany.
- Considered one of the more liberal countries regarding cannabis, the Czech Republic decriminalized cannabis possession for personal use in 2010 and legalized medical cannabis in 2013, but recreational cannabis remains illegal.
We are starting to see the ripple effects of Germany’s plans to legalize cannabis in Europe. This announcement follows a joint meeting held in June between Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands and it looks like the Czech Republic wants to follow suit and take a similar approach, recognizing that a legal, regulated supply of cannabis is the only way forward.