Cannabis Revenue Slides from Paris

Here are slides from my panel presentation at the Ecole d’économie de Paris (Paris School of Economics) May 24 2019:  Paris 24 mai 2019 for the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy,

They include this song, to the tune of “Dear Abby” by John Prine:

Dear Public Officials who legalize weed:
Don’t miss out on revenue your people need.
A price-based percentage tax won’t be secure
‘Cause prices will tumble as markets mature.
The “liberty movement” wants taxes to fall.
But vanishing “price” taxes undermine y’all.

Price taxes vanish.

To the relief of the audience, I did not sing.

And here’s the wrap-up:
Law enforcement is critical.
Taxing only by price is weak.
Don’t try to tax flower by THC.
Big Business is coming (vs. Social Equity).
Government sales are better than taxes.

The State of Lousiana sells marijuana

Federal illegality is not preventing the State of Louisiana from possessing and selling marijuana.  Maybe Berkeley and Oakland are too politically blue to get away with it, but that little municipal cannabis store in Washington State has been selling openly since March 2015.  Louisiana is about to start sales.

Here’s a long quote about how flagship Louisiana State University is “touching the plant,” from an official LSU website.

In 2015, the Louisiana Legislature passed the Alison Neustrom Act, which paved the way for the production, recommendation, and use of therapeutic cannabis.

The LSU AgCenter is operating its Therapeutic Cannabis Program under one of the two licenses in Louisiana. Continue reading The State of Lousiana sells marijuana


A friend in Vermont tells me the Legislature there insists on taxing cannabis solely by price.  Many people think Vermonters are so shrewd and some Southerners just might be a little slow, but price-only taxation is sillier than anything North Carolina has done since turning down 90 percent matching funds for Medicaid expansion.

Leafly article on Cannabis Tax — en français

I’m not sure this is authorized:

But I can’t quarrel with the end note: “Le point de vue exprimé dans cet article n’engage que son auteur trop cool.”  Hahaha.

Une traduction robotique? Continue reading Leafly article on Cannabis Tax — en français

Sam Kamin joins CNR Board

I’m delighted to announce that my dear friend Sam Kamin, J.D., Ph.D., is joining the Board of Advisers of the Center for New Revenue.  Sam is an old friend in marijuana policy years; we were on a panel for the Drug Policy Alliance in Denver in 2013, not long after my first article came out in 2011.

Sam is a Law Professor at the University of Denver. Continue reading Sam Kamin joins CNR Board

My op-ed in Leafly

Thanks to editor Ben Adlin, who clarified some of my muddied thinking and made the piece much more readable:


Like it or not, most voters—not to mention politicians—like cannabis taxesbetter than they like cannabis itself. Cannabis consumers supposedly make up only about 20% of the public in fully legal states. The other 80% are bystanders, wondering, in the American capitalist way, “What’s in it for me?”

Not convinced? Consider: Initiatives to legalize and tax cannabis tend to max out at around 57% of the vote, if they pass at all. Standalone cannabis tax initiatives, meanwhile, routinely get 75% to 80%. And no state has legalized commercial sale of nonmedical cannabis without taxing it.