Gov. Tony Evers has proposed legalizing marijuana in the State of Wisconsin and taxing it “like alcohol.”
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Gov. Evers announced the proposal as part of his 2021-23 biennial budget. His plan “regulates and taxes marijuana much like alcohol” and “generates more than $165 million annually beginning in Fiscal Year 2023,” the release says.
The governor’s budget “proposes regulating and taxing marijuana much like Wisconsin regulates and taxes alcohol. Under the proposal, Wisconsin would join 15 other states, including neighboring Michigan and Illinois, in legalizing recreational marijuana,” the release adds.
“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state,” said Evers.
“Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”
The governor noted that a 2019 Marquette University Law School poll found that nearly 60 percent of Wisconsinites want recreational marijuana legalized. The number jumps to 83% for medicinal marijuana. The governor previously proposed legalizing medical marijuana but legislative Republicans rejected the proposal.
The governor said he wants to set aside $80 million of the new marijuana revenue to fund “equity grants through the Department of Health Services, the Department of Administration, and the Department of Children and Families,” to fund grants to “underserved communities,” and to serve small, rural school districts.
“Under the governor’s proposal, marijuana would be taxed and regulated much like alcohol, and would be regulated by both the Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection,” the release says.
“The proposal would require the sale of marijuana for recreational use to be sold by a marijuana retailer holding a permit issued by the DOR. Individuals would need to be 21 years of age to purchase marijuana for recreational use. All sales of recreational marijuana to minors would be prohibited. The plan also provides a path for medical marijuana users to access the product without paying retail taxes.”
He added, “There are certain limits placed on the sale and possession of marijuana under the proposal. Wisconsin residents can possess no more than two ounces of marijuana and six plants for personal use. Nonresidents can possess no more than 0.25 ounces of marijuana. Under the proposal, no marijuana processor or microbusiness that operates as a marijuana processor may make usable marijuana using marijuana grown outside of Wisconsin.”