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Hawaii Senate Committees Approve Cannabis Legalization Bill, Canadian Federal Tax Revenue for Cannabis Surpasses Beer and Wine, and Ohio Cannabis Regulators Lower MMJ Card Fee to 1 Cent

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Hawaii Senate Committees Approve Cannabis Legalization Bill

Last year, the state Senate in Hawaii passed a marijuana legalization bill that stalled in the House. The latest proposal passed two Senate panels where several amendments were added. The legislation will move on to a floor vote, which is expected to happen sometime within the next week. The bill was first introduced in January of this year, and the 300-page proposal is based on the cannabis legalization plan from state Attorney General Anne Lopez. While advocates are optimistic that SB3335 could become law, it faces strong opposition. The State Department of Law Enforcement said in submitted testimony that it has “serious concerns” about the legislation. 

Canadian Federal Tax Revenue for Cannabis Surpasses Beer and Wine

Last year, the Canadian government collected more tax revenue from cannabis than from beer and wine. According to Canada’s Public Accounts, the combined tax revenue from beer and wine was CA$887.7 million. The federal excise revenue from cannabis for the same fiscal year was CA$894.6 million. Of the total amount of tax revenue collected from cannabis, CA$667.6 million was distributed to individual territories and provinces in the country, leaving CA$227.1 million for the federal government. Over the years, Canada’s federal government has taken a greater share of the national excise cannabis tax and this issue has come under fire from the country’s legal marijuana industry. Many industry insiders feel that the formula the Canadian government uses to apply the excise tax is disproportionate. 

Ohio Cannabis Regulators Lower MMJ Card Fee to 1 Cent

Beginning March 4th, the fee to obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio will be one cent. The new lower fee will apply to new applicants as well as renewals. The Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) also submitted a proposal to the state’s Common Sense Initiative to eliminate the card fees for caregivers and patients. The Ohio Common Sense Initiative is a state program that oversees the rules and regulations that govern businesses throughout the state. Currently, the cost is $25 for caregiver cards and $50 for patient cards. The DCC also requested that the Common Sense Initiative lower the processor license renewal fee from $100,000 to $50,000. The hope is the reduced fees will increase business for medical cannabis dispensaries in the state.