Update on marijuana regulation: #24
Not much that I’ve noticed in the news about regulation of the recreational marijuana market. Here are a few things of interest. Reminder: Reason I’m following this issue is to watch a natural experiment on whether over-regulation will crush a new industry.
4/20 – Kelly Phillips Erb at Forbes – On 4/20, It’s High Time to Think About Taxes, Revenues & Marijuana – Great survey of how we got to the place we are today.
How the marijuana laws have developed, the Department of Justice’s effort to look the other way when states have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana, and the IRS’ stand that most costs of running a marijuana business are non-deductible.
Also, some discussion on how likely Congress is to make changes to federal law. Current assessment: not likely. Doing so would appear to be soft on crime. Current mess with opioid abuse would make any efforts to legalize marijuana appear to be bad.
6/16 – MarketWatch – Microsoft gets into the weed business – One of the requirements in those states where recreational marijuana is legal is the need to track every bit of marijuana from the seed that germinated into a plant all the way to the specific end product the marijuana went into.
Picture having to track each seed to the plant that grew from it, to the batch that was dried to the portion that went into each production run of carbonated beverage or batch of chocolate or ovenful of brownies.
That allows tracking the specific fertilizers and pesticides used on each plant and that worked its way into each specific product.
Working backward, it must be possible to trace each individual product at a retail store backwards through the distribution and production process all the way to the seed it came from.
I am not sure but think the same requirement exists for medical marijuana.
Microsoft is jumping into the market for software to do all that paperwork. They announced a partnership with a company called KIND Financial to provide compliance software.
This article indicates there will be a new joint venture with KIND and Microsoft as the owners. Amount of investment or additional details are not visible in either article. I’m not interested enough to do any more research to find out terms or dollars involved.
6/21 – Reuters at Fox News – Teen marijuana use in Colorado found lower than national average – A new survey by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment finds that amongst high school students, 21.2% admitted using marijuana in the previous 30 days. This is in contrast to 22% in the survey two years earlier. This is the first report after recreational marijuana use became legal for people age 21 or older.
The current 21.2% is just a smidgen lower than the national average of 21.7%.
Article does not specify the margin of error. With a change of 0.8% since two years ago and difference of 0.5% from the national average, I’m thinking that all three data points have a margin of error larger than the spread between them. Thus it is likely all three data points are statistically the same.
Interesting result though – there isn’t yet an indication that legalizing pot for those over 21 is having much impact on self-reported rate of use amongst those who are under 21.