Views Around New York: May 6, 2021

Views from Around the State

Legislate marijuana, but don’t
opt out on revenue source

From: The Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

For local town and village officials wringing their hands, trying to decide whether to opt out of issuing licenses for marijuana sales and on-site consumption in their municipalities, we have three words: Take the money.

It’s not dirty money. As of March 31, recreational marijuana is now legal in New York state for people 21 years or older, just like alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, which are sold in a variety of locations throughout our communities.

There will be a 13% tax on sales of marijuana products — giving a 3% cut to municipalities and 1% to counties. That money could be useful when times are tough. And let’s face it, when it comes to funding local government, times are always tough.

… In January 2014, Colorado became the first state to sell recreational marijuana products, with total sales to date of $10,333,435,545, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The total tax revenue collected in Colorado since 2014 was $1,698,853,703.

Let’s look at the decision facing town and village officials. They may believe it’s a moral choice, but we think it’s really a business decision.

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