Marijuana monopoly = Small government

Government marijuana monopoly makes government’s slush fund tiny. Passing out licenses makes it enormous. So, ironically, government monopoly marijuana retailing keeps government power down, which libertarians should applaud. Yes, government monopoly marijuana retailing is less efficient, to the detriment of consumers, but many are willing to take less-than-perfect-competition as part of a deal where they … Continue reading “Marijuana monopoly = Small government”

Questionable objections to marijuana monopoly — Updated July 28, 2015

Here from are two objections to marijuana retail monopoly that don’t hold up, in my opinion: “For states to establish a monopoly on marijuana production and sales, voters or elected officials would have to approve laws that essentially give state governments control over the marijuana industry. Even if a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, … Continue reading “Questionable objections to marijuana monopoly — Updated July 28, 2015”

Extreme marijuana monopoly

At one extreme is a seed-to-sale monopoly.  To provide security, the state could put the growing outdoors, surrounded by fences and cameras, in the middle of the campus of a land grant University, or at the state’s version of a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.   To identify legal product, scientists might develop genetic or … Continue reading “Extreme marijuana monopoly”

State marijuana monopoly? — Updated December 22, 2014

[UPDATE 22 December 2014:  Extension of the Holder memo to Native American territory opens the distinct possibility of monopolies there. And the case of Nebraska v. Colorado gives the Supreme Court a chance to address Legality (of a lesser provocation) and Standing.] You hear folks say states can’t run a marijuana monopoly because they would be … Continue reading “State marijuana monopoly? — Updated December 22, 2014”

Nimble Prices Make Marijuana Monopoly Better than Private Enterprise

To beat the bootlegger, you need flexible prices.  Legislatures, even at their nimblest, may prove too slow to adjust tax rates adequately.  Uruguay is avoiding that trap:  “If one gram costs $1 in the black market, then we’ll sell the legal product for $1. If they drop the price to 75 cents, then we’ll put … Continue reading “Nimble Prices Make Marijuana Monopoly Better than Private Enterprise”

Municipal marijuana monopoly? Delegated?

One way to get revenue from marijuana, maybe the best way, is to have a government monopoly temper the profit motive.  Professor Rob Mikos says state monopolies make no sense, because having the state do the selling of marijuana puts it in direct violation of federal law.  Now a small town in Washington is thinking … Continue reading “Municipal marijuana monopoly? Delegated?”

State Marijuana Monopoly under AG Holder’s Eight Criteria

Continuing to think that the best way to legalize marijuana is via state monopoly, I’m thinking that AG Holder’s eight criteria might open the door. Only this criterion — “growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands” — might create some problem for state … Continue reading “State Marijuana Monopoly under AG Holder’s Eight Criteria”

Sin Tax-and-Regulate or State Monopoly? NC bill would tighten.

To control and derive revenue from recreational substances, the public faces a choice.  For liquor, some 17 states choose monopoly over taxed, regulated private sales.  It’s awfully hard to switch from private sales to monopoly, but a House Bill 782 in North Carolina would do just that for fortified malt beverages and fortified wine

NC poll shows 3 to 1 preference for state marijuana monopoly model over private sales

When faced with two models for legalization, state monopoly and taxed private sales, 58 percent of voters here in North Carolina (where the only retail seller of liquor is the state ABC monopoly) chose monopoly, 19 percent chose private sales, and 23 percent were undecided.  The detailed results, from Public Policy Polling, are at NC Marijuana Polling March 2013. The … Continue reading “NC poll shows 3 to 1 preference for state marijuana monopoly model over private sales”

Keep the Liquor Monopoly

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has come out against selling the State liquor monopoly.  Good for her.  Selling income-producing assets to plug revenue holes looks shortsighted.  What’s next, selling Mount Mitchell State Park,  Jockey’s Ridge,  Hanging Rock, Yes, we need to clean up the mess in the ABC system, but the free … Continue reading “Keep the Liquor Monopoly”

Here we go: Marijuana is coming to North Carolina

North Carolina medical marijuana just got real. Medical marijuana legalization is the law in Georgia, and is advancing in South Carolina and Alabama.  Recreational marijuana legalization is the law in Virginia.  Here in North Carolina, nothing was happening.  Only Democrats supported even medical marijuana. But that changed overnight as two Republican State Senators came out in support of … Continue reading “Here we go: Marijuana is coming to North Carolina”

Federal illegality doesn’t stop states from selling marijuana

When I was the only lawyer working on the RAND report on marijuana legalization for Vermont, my non-lawyer colleagues told me that state sales were unrealistic, since they would be federally illegal.  A recent report out of Virginia echoed that notion.  “If a state government became involved in marijuana distribution or retail, it would become an active participant in … Continue reading “Federal illegality doesn’t stop states from selling marijuana”

“Stop oligopoly” or “Share the wealth”

Annual marijuana license auctions, mentioned here recently, are a dream in Theoryland, I’m afraid.  (At least they would tilt toward sun-grown – no one would build an indoor grow with a one-year license.)  A more realistic way to time-limit economic power – sunsetted quotas – is on the table in New Zealand now. Is Canada stopping oligopoly, … Continue reading ““Stop oligopoly” or “Share the wealth””

Sharing marijuana wealth in Mexico — Panel September 8.

I’m to be on a panel Tuesday, September 8 at 1:30 EDT on cannabis legalization in Mexico – especially preventing oligopoly and market capture by Big Marijuana. It’s open to everyone, in English and Spanish, but you must register first at this link: Here are some notes for that panel. There are possible conflicting … Continue reading “Sharing marijuana wealth in Mexico — Panel September 8.”

Draft defense of weight tax on marijuana vs. CA LAO

Working on a response to the LAO report (subject of December 18 post on this blog) for a paper that won’t go final before April 10 – a defense of the weight tax in California (people there call it a cultivator tax, which reflects the confusion – it’s actually collected downstream).  Would welcome comments and … Continue reading “Draft defense of weight tax on marijuana vs. CA LAO”

Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores

Policy makes strange bedfellows.  The local paper is stirring up doubts about the state liquor monopoly, and it should look for problems, but I’m still for government sale of intoxicants, as explained here:, and here: (download). Here are some emails: ++++ 8/13/2018 10:09 AM Dear Folks at the Christian Action League: The Center … Continue reading “Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores”

The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores

The Raleigh paper recently exposed some waste and abuse in the North Carolina state liquor monopoly.  Sure, government liquor stores create problems, but the private profit motive for alcohol sales, like the private profit motive for marijuana sales, works against public health. My public health friends have understood that tendency since the Rockefeller Report preceding repeal … Continue reading “The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores”