Marijuana News Roundup: Colorado Sales Top $117 Million in April

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Sales of cannabis flower, edibles, and concentrates reached $117.4 million in April, up nearly 60% year over year and the highest monthly total recorded since sales of legal recreational marijuana started in 2014. In the first four months of 2016, sales have totaled $387.5 million. In all of 2015 legal sales in Colorado totaled $996.2 million.

Recreational sales alone totaled $76.6 million in April, up more than 80% from $42.4 million in April 2015. Medical marijuana sales totaled$40.8 million, a year-over-year  increase of 28%.

Colorado imposes three taxes on sales of recreational marijuana: the standard 2.9% state sales tax; an additional 10% sales tax; and a 15% excise tax on wholesale transfers that goes into a school construction fund. The state collected $5.5 million in excise taxes on April sales and has collected $16.7 million in excise taxes on recreational marijuana for the first 4 months of the year. Total tax collections on both recreational and medical marijuana amount to nearly $57 million through the first four months of the year.

Here are excerpts from other recent cannabis-related news stories.

High on Image, University of Missouri Says No to Marijuana on T-Shirt
The University of Missouri and a student group are squabbling over marijuana.

Not over the drug itself, but on whether a marijuana leaf can appear on a T-shirt next to the school’s name.

University officials have said no. However, leaders for the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws say it’s about First Amendment rights and fairness.

“The University of Missouri does not want to seem as if they are endorsing our viewpoint,” said Benton Berigan, president of MU NORML. “We just want the rights that are afforded to other university organizations.”

Read more at The Kansas City Star.

25 States Now Call Marijuana “Medicine.” Why Doesn’t the DEA?
John Kasich signed Ohio’s medical marijuana bill into law yesterday [June 8], making it the 25th state (26 counting Washington, D.C.) to allow some form of medical marijuana use.

Ohio’s measure is more restrictive than medical marijuana bills in many other states. It does not allow patients to smoke marijuana — they must ingest it orally via edible products, or use a vaporizer. It doesn’t allow patients to grow their own marijuana, and only a handful of conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and cancer, qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.

Medical marijuana advocates had launched a campaign to put a broader medical marijuana bill before voters this fall. But the bill approved by legislature and signed by Gov. Kasich was intended to stave off more permissive ballot measures. And it appears to have been successful: the group pushing for the ballot initiative recently suspended that campaign, calling the legislature’s bill “imperfect” but saying the bill’s passage represented “a joyous day for the thousands of Ohioans who will finally be able to safely access much-needed medicine.

Read more at The Washington Post.