Recreational Marijuana Questions Heading to the Polls Despite Market Decline

Recreational marijuana sales show there is still an immense market opportunity

From April 21, when the market began, until the end of June, tax income from sales of recreational cannabis in New Jersey reached $4,649,202. This sum is based on $79,698,831 in total sales of recreational cannabis made by authorized cannabis companies across the state, including $219,482 in Social Equity Excise Fees.

The market is becoming better

With the present number of dispensaries, the dispersed locations, and the high costs, it is operating as expected, according to Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Customers won’t have to go as far to make purchases as more cannabis firms go online, and costs will decrease due to greater competition. The economy will do much better.

Cannabis Regulatory Commission

The head of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, Dianna Houenou, believes the statistics hold promise. She added that New Jersey residents are eager to promote new companies because they will boost sales and bring in more money to spend in their neighborhoods. “We are making efforts to achieve that. We are distributing grants to get new companies off the ground.

The overall sales of medical cannabis have increased to $59,262,014, which is more in line with sales data from the last quarter of 2021 after a little dip to $55,838,072 in the first quarter of 2022.

Patients are the NJ-first CRC’s concern, Brown said. “The demand for medical cannabis is still quite high, and we are dedicated to making sure that patients can obtain it,” The Revenue and Enterprise Services Division of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury issues tax revenue certifications.

The licensing, testing, selling, and buying of cannabis in the state are all subject to laws and regulations set down and enforced by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

A significant push to legalize marijuana has been underway in the U.S. since the late 20th century. California made headlines in 1996 as the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, and other states eventually followed suit. Then, in 2012, ballot measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use were approved in Washington and Colorado. In 2019, marijuana usage was legal in more than 30 U.S. states but was still illegal at the federal level. This begs the issue of why marijuana was ever prohibited.

Racism is the simple answer. Cannabis, as it was initially called in the United States, was a substance that few Americans used at the start of the 20th century. But once the Mexican Revolution got underway in 1910, many Mexicans started migrating to the U.S., bringing the custom of smoking marijuana.

Hysterical tales about the drug began to spread amid rising antipathy against Mexican immigrants, including assertions that it led to a “thirst for blood.” Additionally, the name “cannabis” was generally substituted with “marijuana,” leading some to speculate that this was done to highlight the drug’s foreignness and, therefore, fuel xenophobia. Around this period, numerous states started drafting legislation outlawing marijuana.

Also read: Top Canadian Cannabis Stocks To Watch Before August

Cannabis Markets’ Current Decline

In light of the state and local cannabis markets’ current decline, the Colorado Springs City Council gave its final administrative seal of approval on Wednesday to the recreational marijuana questions submitted to the public in November.

By a 6 to 2, the board decided to put on the ballot a question endorsed by citizens that, if it passed, would let the 115 medical marijuana businesses now operating in the state switch to selling recreational marijuana in 2019. The council also submitted a resolution that would subject sales of recreational marijuana to a municipal tax of 5%. In 2023, the tax may raise $5.6 million for programs related to public safety, mental health services for the whole community, and care for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the legislation, the council must either accept or send ballot propositions that have amassed enough signatures to the voters. City Attorney Wynetta Massey stated that if the proposal resulted in a tax increase, it would need to be put before the voters.

Councilwomen Yolanda Avila abstained, and councilmen Randy Helms and Mike O’Malley opposed sending the matter to the electorate.

In part because marijuana is illegal on the federal level and because pilots and soldiers in the area risk being discharged from the military for using it, Helms said he campaigned on a platform opposing the selling of marijuana for recreational use.

He said that he did not think the sales tax money would cover the expense of policing if the sales were authorized, saying that opposing recreational marijuana was part of setting a good example for children in our community.

States could regulate marijuana under the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. This movement is already well started. Sales of recreational marijuana are now legal in 19 states. According to Politico, at least six other initiatives will put the question before voters in November.

Also read: Feds Look At Cannabis Research Barriers—Including Schedule

Post-Pandemic Dip

Sales are seeing a post-pandemic dip in Colorado even as interest soars nationwide. According to state statistics, the amount of medicinal marijuana sold in June decreased 44% from the same month the previous year, from $19.2 million in sales to $34.5 million in 2021. A press statement from the Marijuana Industry Group states that recreational sales will be $127.2 million in June 2022, down 17% from the $152.7 million they were in June last year.

The medicinal marijuana sold in Colorado Springs decreased from $136 million in 2020 to $117 million in 2021. However, medicinal marijuana sales surged during the epidemic, rising from $96 million in 2019. According to municipal statistics, the retailers in the area provide medicinal marijuana to 23,912 registered cardholders.

According to City Clerk Sarah Johnson, four medicinal marijuana licenses this year have been turned in to the city for various reasons and cannot be reactivated.

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