Gov. Evers Proposes Legalizing Marijuana, Investing Portion of Revenue in Equity Initiatives and Rural Schools
Governor’s proposal regulates and taxes marijuana much like alcohol, generates more than $165 million annually beginning in Fiscal Year 2023
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced his 2021-23 biennial 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 governor’s 21-23 budget proposal will increase revenue, create jobs, and reduce criminal justice system costs, while providing a pathway for those suffering from chronic or debilitating pain and illness to utilize the medicine they require.
“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 Gov. 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.”
Legalizing marijuana is expected to generate more than $165 million annually beginning in the second year of the biennium (Fiscal Year (FY) 23). The governor proposes setting aside $80 million of the revenue generated by marijuana to reinvest in communities across the state through a new Community Reinvestment Fund. Beginning in FY23, the Community Reinvestment Fund will fund $30 million in equity grants through the Department of Health Services, the Department of Administration, and the Department of Children and Families, respectively; $5 million to fund grants to underserved communities through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; and provide more than $34 million to support sparsity aid, which goes to small, rural school districts. The remaining revenue would be deposited into the state’s general fund.
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 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.
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.
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- Statement on Wisconsin Budget Proposal - Wisconsin Federation for Children - Feb 19th, 2021
- BLOC Responds to Evers’ Budget Address - Black Leaders Organizing for Communities - Feb 19th, 2021
- Gov. Evers’ Badger Bounceback Agenda Receives Bipartisan Praise, Support - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 18th, 2021
- Americans for Prosperity – Wisconsin Responds to Gov. Evers’ Budget Proposal, Urges Fiscal Restraint - AFP Wisconsin - Feb 17th, 2021
- Senator Bradley: Scrap Governor Evers’ Budget, Start From Scratch - State Sen. Julian Bradley - Feb 17th, 2021
- Construction Business Group Supports Governor Evers’ State Budget Proposal - Construction Business Group - Feb 17th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Unveils $91 Billion Budget - Shawn Johnson and Laurel White - Feb 16th, 2021
Read more about 2021-2023 Wisconsin Budget here
- Senator Agard Sends Letter to JFC Co-Chairs in Support of Keeping Legalization of Marijuana in State Budget - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Feb 10th, 2021
- Chairwoman Nicholson Supports County and State Efforts to End Marijuana Prohibition - County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson - Feb 10th, 2021
- MKE County: Resolution Cuts Pot Possession Fine to $1 - Graham Kilmer - Feb 9th, 2021
- Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Introduces Proposal Reducing Penalty for Marijuana Possession - Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez - Feb 9th, 2021
- Wisconsin Would Use Marijuana Legalization to Pay For Education, Equity - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2021
- Senator Agard Supports Governor Evers’ Budget Provision to Legalize and Tax Marijuana in Wisconsin - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Feb 7th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Proposes Legalizing Marijuana, Investing Portion of Revenue in Equity Initiatives and Rural Schools - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 7th, 2021
- County Supervisors Back $1 Pot Penalty - Gretchen Schuldt - Feb 6th, 2021
- Cannabis Reform Gets Bipartisan Support - Isiah Holmes - Nov 8th, 2020
- A Day to Consider Legalizing Pot - Isiah Holmes - Apr 20th, 2020
Read more about Legalizing of Marijuana here