4 Resources to Help Your Community Prepare for Marijuana Legalization Nationwide

Both medical and recreational marijuana may become the norm in 2016. Is your community ready?

Jul 9, 2015 | BLOG POST

Earlier this year we learned that Cannabis Corner, the first government-owned marijuana store, opened for business. Run out of a renovated storage barn in North Bonneville, Washington, the little shop is open seven days a week selling a variety of strains of marijuana for anywhere from $12 to $20 per baggie. It’s run by a five-member public authority board that plans to use the shop’s profits to fund community projects.

Although Cannabis Corner may be the first and only of its kind for now, its existence suggests what’s to come. The entrance of marijuana into the nation’s economy will inevitably lead to changes in the financial system, the workplace, and the community overall. To consider how local governments can prepare for the possibility of nationwide legalization of recreational cannabis in 2016, give these resources a quick review:

  1. The Knowledge Network article “Local Government Leaders and Experts Discuss Marijuana Management” summarizes (and includes a link to) the recorded telephonic press call hosted by ICMA, which took place on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, in conjunction with the ICMA 100th Annual Conference. The call was held to discuss the impact that marijuana legalization has had and will have on local government and the community as a whole. On the call’s panel was a group of local government experts, including current city managers representing jurisdictions at the forefront of marijuana legalization efforts.
  2. SAFEbuilt Inc.—an organization that works with communities for the efficient delivery of privatized community development solutions, and one of ICMA’s executive-level partners— published “Municipalities and Mary Jane” on the Knowledge Network to share some ideas on what communities can do to prepare and properly regulate this new industry.
  3. “Medical Marijuana Emerges from the Shadows” was published in this month’s PM magazine to give local government leaders a summary of the effect marijuana legalization will have on the mainstream financial system.
  4. Based on ICMA’s telephonic press call on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, “Marijuana Management: What’s Happening Now?” summarizes present and future tax revenues, banking challenges, and new government workplace realities that will likely be affected if cannabis is legalized.

Are there other issues related to marijuana legalization that you would like ICMA or your peers to address? Share your comments below.

Jordyn Moore

Knowledge Network Intern


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