In a sweeping letter to members of Congress, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser warned of “potential disruption” to existing state marijuana markets if state legalization is not carefully structured.
Weiser particularly highlighted the proposed 25% national marijuana tax rate contained in the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, recently tabled by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Weiser warned that such a high tax rate could cost states valuable tax revenues of their own and force them to cut budgets for social justice programs or other programs that rely on marijuana taxes.
Weiser also warned Congress that a new national marijuana market should be “phased in” to protect small businesses, especially from the big tobacco flood.
“If a national market is not introduced carefully and gradually, large companies, especially existing tobacco companies, can immediately move into new markets, displacing and displacing smaller players,” wrote Weiser.
“Many cannabis companies are small and / or minority owned; Without a step-by-step implementation, we fear that these companies will be pushed out of the market, thereby reducing the principles of social justice behind every launch at the federal level. “