Wyoming Looking at Full Marijuana Legalization to Generate $49.5M in New Revenues

Wyoming Looking at Full Marijuana Legalization to Generate $49.5M in New Revenues

A marijuana legalization supporter at rally outside the Wyoming Capitol. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Originally reported by Brendan LaChanceOil City News.

CASPER — Fourteen Wyoming legislators are sponsoring a bill to legalize marijuana in the state.

If House Bill 209 were to become law, anyone 21 years or older could legally possess retail marijuana (in amounts explained below) or cultivate marijuana for personal use (also explained below).

Advertisement - Story continues below...

The legislation proposes imposing a 30 percent excise tax on the sale of retail marijuana products and would also establish license fees for the sale of retail marijuana products.

The Wyoming Legislative Service Office estimates that legalization as proposed under the bill would generate an estimated $49.5 million in new revenue for the state in fiscal year 2022.

The funding would go to support Wyoming’s School Foundation Account and local governments. The LSO says an estimated $30.7 million per year would be generated for the School Foundation Fund, $15.35 million annually for the Local Sources Fund and $3.1 million in Special Revenue (License Fees) in the first year of legalization, decreasing to $860,000 in subsequent years.

“Revenue increase estimates for the School Foundation Program (SFP) Account and local governments are derived from FY 2020 sales of marijuana and marijuana products in Colorado, adjusted for the population of Wyoming,” the LSO says. “The Department of Revenue (DOR) estimates these revenue increases to remain flat from FY 2022 – FY 2024.”

“The Department of Agriculture (the Department) assumes an application fee of $5,000 would apply to each license type, per the proposed legislation. The Department estimates 100 cultivation facilities, 50 manufacturing facilities, 25 secure transporters, five (5) testing facilities, 200 retail stores, and 50 microbusinesses. The Department notes that additional fees may be determined in the rule-making process.”

House Bill 209
 would allow possession and cultivation of marijuana for individuals as follows:

  • Possession of retail marijuana
    1. legal age of 21 years old
      • up to three ounces of retail marijuana that is flower
      • up to 16 ounces of retail marijuana or marijuana product that is solid product
      • up to 72 ounces ounces of retail marijuana that is liquid product
      • up to 30 grams of retail marijuana that is in the form of a marijuana concentrate
  • Home cultivation
    • legal for people 21 and older to grow for personal consumption (not for sale)
      • up to 12 mature flowering female marijuana plants
      • people growing marijuana could also have up to 16 ounces of retail marijuana within their home “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”

House Bill 209 has extensive regulations proposed before legalization would be enacted. Marijuana could technically be legalized as early as July 1, 2021 if the legislation were to become law as proposed, but the bill requires that regulatory steps be completed prior to the legislation taking full effect.

Sponsors of the bill include:

  • Representative(s) Baker, Barlow, Brown, Burt, Connolly, Olsen, Provenza, Romero-Martinez, Sweeney, Western, Yin, Zwonitzer
  • Senator(s) Case, Rothfuss