Wyoming just introduced legislation that could bring a legal cannabis industry to the predominantly conservative state.
The bill, known as House Bill 0209, was introduced by Representative Mike Yin and also backed by 13 other state lawmakers. The bill was assigned to the state House just this week. If the bill becomes a law, then the sale, purchase, possession, and cultivation of cannabis will become regulated and legal. Those over the age of 21 can have up to three ounces of flower, 16 ounces of cannabis product, 72 ounces of liquid product, and up to 30 grams of concentrate.
Those who prefer home grows to shopping would also have the legal option to cultivate up to 12 flowering, female plants at home, which could yield them up to 16 ounces of cannabis, “provided that any amount more than two and one half (2 1/2) ounces shall be stored in a container or area with locks or other security devices that restrict access to the container or area”
HB0209 will also lay out how cannabis should be tested and taxed, as well as the licenses for the state. It will also outline what the penalties will be for those using or possessing cannabis outside of the law. Existing laws will need to be revised so that they are no longer punishing cannabis users.
“To ensure that no retail marijuana grown or processed by a marijuana establishment is sold or otherwise transferred except by a retail marijuana store or as otherwise authorized by law, the board shall develop and maintain a seed-to-sale tracking system that tracks retail marijuana from either the seed or immature plant stage until the retail marijuana or retail marijuana product is sold to a customer at a retail marijuana store,” the bill explains.
The Potential of HB0209
This could be very exciting for the state of Wyoming, as it could bring in as much as $30.7 million per year to a fund for schools, $15.35 million to a local fund, and $3.1 million for licenses. This money would be very welcome during a time when everyone is hurting thanks to COVID shutdowns. The bill projects that licensing fees will fall after the first year, but the revenue will keep coming in. They are basing these projections on their nearby, and very cannabis-friendly, neighbors in Colorado.
Additionally, the state will be able to bank on around $49.5 million in retail cannabis revenue for just the first year if cannabis becomes legal in 2022. This would be a major win for the local economy.
“A well-funded educational system is a source of pride and economic opportunity for our state. It is essential for our families and our children just as low taxes are,” Governor Gordon stated regarding the budget crisis and what needs to be done in Wyoming. “Our circumstances require that we evaluate all school spending and consider its importance to our state’s future. These are dollars that go into local economies too. I appreciate the Legislature’s Recalibration Committee’s hard work on this topic and look forward to their proposals.”