Teen cannabis use declines in California
Tom Torlakson, the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, recently announced the findings of the California Healthy Kids Survey – revealing a steady decline in cannabis use among middle and high-school students in California.
An average 3-4% decrease in cannabis use was found across all grade levels surveyed; an encouraging sign for legalization efforts, as anti-legalization arguments often focus on potential dangers to the youth within our communities.
The survey, funded by the California Department of Education, acts as the largest statewide study on the climate of student’s mental health. By providing students with anonymity, the state hopes to get a better understanding on drug abuse patterns, and students overall well-being.
New Jersey official believes adult-use cannabis could be legalized by September
Senate President Steve Sweeney believes New Jersey will pass an adult-use cannabis program as early as September 2018.
“I’m confident we’ll get to 21 and 41 (votes),” said Sweeney in a recent, extensive interview with POLTICO
Sweeney’s confidence is for good reason, as the state has experienced a wave of positive momentum regarding legalization efforts. In late March, legislators added chronic pain, anxiety, migraines, and Tourette’s syndrome to the list of qualifying conditions. Following the addition of qualifying conditions, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewall announced a pause to all current prosecutions in cannabis cases.
Before a vote happens, lawmakers will have to agree on the specific outlines of an adult-use program. A continually debated topic is how to tax an adult-use market – some officials want to stamp a 25% tax on all products, while others believe a high tax rate will only benefit the black market.
“If you tax it too high, you incentivize people to use the black market because you’ve raised the price too high,” said Sweeney.
The DEA wants to reduce opioid manufacturing & increase cannabis research
In a recent press release, the DEA laid out a plan to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third within three years.
“We’ve lost too many lives to the opioid epidemic and families and communities suffer tragic consequences every day,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.
If the proposed changes in opioid manufacturing are approved, commonly prescribed schedule II opioids, like oxycodone and fentanyl, will soon be harder to come by.
The DEA is also calling for a 500% increase in cannabis grown for research purposes; following a recent pattern across the US, as a handful of states continue to look at cannabis as an alternative to opioids.
Small California town collects nearly $50,000 in tax revenue
Woodlake, a small-California town with a population under 8,000 people, recently reported a total of $46,397 in cannabis tax revenue between April – June 2018.
The small town nestled near the hills of the Sequoia National Park has recently jumped on the cannabis bandwagon, approving 6 canna-businesses that plan to establish headquarters within town boundaries.
Public officials expect that revenue from canna-taxes will only increase as local businesses are still in their early stages of development.
“The amount (total tax revenue) will increase once we are able to have cultivation sites operational as they are the ones that generate higher revenues,” said city manager Ramon Lara to the Sun-Gazette.
Revenue from cannabis taxes will be poured into the city’s fund, which can be allocated to public works projects that benefit the community at large.