While the good folks in Amsterdam are probably scratching their heads wondering where the other half of their tourist industry went, Colorado is lapping it up with $700,000,000 in taxable sales and counting. Oh well, they still have their tulips!
Lots of forward positive momentum in the marijuana industry this past year and 2015 is shaping up to be even better!.
Jan. 1, 2014 – Colorado’s marijuana industry officially opened for business to both medical as well as recreational users. This would mark the first time that Cannabis has been sold legally in Colorado in close to 100 years.
All across Colorado dozens of retail establishments opened their doors offering many types of gourmet grades of exotic smokables such as fine hybrids, pure landrace strains, hashish, and edibles of all description.
Colorado earned about $50,000,000 in taxes on approximately $700,000,000 in sales for the year 2014. A substantial amount of the proceeds have been promised to the public school system.
On Oct. 1, 2014, Maryland decriminalization took effect. Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana became a civil offense punishable with a $100 fine. Although the possession of the paraphernalia needed to smoke it is still a criminal and arrestable offense.
Senator Bobby Zirkin has introduced a bill to eliminate any penalties for possessing paraphernalia. Delegate Curt Anderson and Senator Jamie Raskin have gone even farther and introduced several bills that would once again legalize marijuana and regulate it the same as alcohol.
On Nov. 10, 2014 Alaska passed a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. It took effect on Feb 24, 2015. Adults in Alaska can now possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. Medical marijuana laws have been on the books in Alaska since way back in 1998. Alaska has always been a pioneer in the cannabis movement and they just became the 3rd state to enact recreational marijuana laws.
Right around mid February, 2015 Jamaica finally started to show some love for Bob Marley and the herb that was such an important part of not only his life style but millions of others as well.
Jamaica will create a regulatory agency to oversee a medical marijuana industry. Those wishing to legally possess marijuana can apply for a medical marijuana card. Tourists and visitors to Jamaica with medical marijuana cards will be able to apply for a reciprocal permit.
The penalty in Jamaica for possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana without a medical marijuana card will be reduced from a criminal offense to a possible ticket. Medical marijuana patients will also be permitted to grow up to 5 ganja plants each.
And as of Feb. 02, 2015, marijuana legalization takes effect in Washington DC. Adults over 21 can now possess as much as 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 6 plants for their own recreational use. DC residents will be off to a rocky start at best since opponents hid a line in the budget banning DC from using any of their own money to fully implement the changes. Others are trudging forward though so we will have to wait and see how things go.
Uruguay of course was the first country to re-legalize marijuana. This occurred on Dec. 10, 2013 and a year later Uruguay’s great experiment seems to be a success. Residents can grow up to 6 marijuana plants each for personal consumption. Cannabis growing clubs are also being organized. Members will pay an annual fee of $300- and in return can take up to 17 ounces home with them.
Jose “Pepe” Mujica, President of Uruguay, and true representative of main street citizens, will surely go down in the history books as being one of the great defenders of human rights in modern times. All hail “Pepe” the Great, Politician and human being extraordinaire!
Lots of other progress has been made in the past 12 months and many milestones and accomplishments will occur in the coming year. It appears as though the end of prohibition is finally coming to an end! Tune in later for more details!