Spin Control

Money in licensing medical pot users, growers

OLYMPIA -- The state could make about $50 million over the next 10 years by setting up a system of licensing and registering medical marijuana users and dispensers, a state study said Thursday.

The state Office of Financial Management, which determines the fiscal impact for bills filed in the Legislature, came to that conclusion after studying House Bill 1100, whose co-sponsors include state Rep. Andy Billig, D-Spokane.

State voters legalized marijuana for medical use about 10 years ago, but problems persist for those who have a doctor's recommendation to use it. They have trouble buying it, and trouble avoiding prosecution, particularly since the federal government still considers marijuana a dangerous drug.

HB 1100 would set up license, registration and usage fees for qualifying patients, and a separate medical marijuana production and processing license.

Those systems would start out raising about $3 million for the state in 2013, and generate about $6.2 million by 2017 and each subsequent year, OFM estimates.




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