Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MMJ news: Viagra, sales tax and THC driving limits

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM

marijuana-leaf.jpeg

Some seeds and stems, if you will:

• In the first month of the year, the city of Colorado Springs collected $52,435 in medical marijuana-related sales tax revenue. This is down from a December amount — and all-time high of — $61,032. During the same month last year, the city brought in $23,828, finishing at $549,414 total for all of 2010.

A report from See Change Strategy says that the total medical marijuana market from seven states — California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico — totals some $1.7 billion. (This total does not include the effects the industry has on related business, like security and construction.) The amount is just $200 million less than the total nationwide sales of Viagra, said study author Ted Rose, and barring federal intervention will reach $8.9 billion within five years.

The study also says that one in four Americans currently live in a state where marijuana transactions openly occur.

• The Denver Post reports that House Bill 1261 — which limits the amount of THC present in a driver's blood to 5 nanograms per milliliter — has passed its first vote in the state House of Representatives. It still has a second vote ahead of it, and several more in the Senate before it has a chance of becoming law.

However, the newspaper reports, its passage was not without some push-back from Colorado Springs legislators who balked at Boulder Rep. Claire Levy's later attempt to raise the limit to eight nanograms.

But her proposal angered several lawmakers, including her co-sponsor, who said the 5-nanogram limit had been extensively discussed.

"There's nothing to support that 8 is the right level," said Rep. Mark Waller, a Colorado Springs Republican who is the bill's other House sponsor.

Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, was so angry he proposed lowering the limit to 2 nanograms, before backing off.

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