Daily Tax Report: State

D.C. Mayor Announces Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

May 2, 2019, 5:05 PM

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced May 2 her plan to legalize and tax recreational marijuana.

The Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019 would “establish a legal tax regime,” she said during a news conference.

Bowser said the bill would tax pot at 17 percent. Revenue from sales would in part be used to invest in affordable housing.

“We will begin generating significant tax revenues that we can reinvest in our communities that have been hardest hit by the criminalization of marijuana,” she said.

  • If the D.C. Council approves the bill, Congress would have 30 days to challenge it. If there was no challenge, the measure would become law.
  • Washington residents can legally possess and grow small amounts of marijuana under Initiative 71, approved by voters in 2014. However, residents can’t legally purchase pot.
  • Washington can’t legally tax marijuana currently because Congress has prohibited it from spending funds to regulate the drug.
  • If passed, D.C. would join 10 states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Prete in Washington at rprete@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergtax.com; Megan Pannone at mpannone@bloombergtax.com

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