Kansas City, Missouri officials have green-lighted using proceeds from a 3 percent municipal tax on marijuana to fund a violence prevention program in the city.
The City Council on Thursday approved a proposal to put $458,000 in proceeds from the local cannabis tax, which voters approved in April, toward the city’s Aim4Peace initiative, which works with local communities and survivors of violent crime.
All told, the city estimates it should make roughly $3 million each year from legal sales after the tax takes effect next month.
Some cannabis consumers told local CBS affiliate KCTV that they’re happy with the use of funds.
“That’s awesome. I like that,” said Adriane Cristoff. “Something to help the people that don’t have anyone speaking up for them, or a voice.”
“I think it’s a good thing because it keeps the area clean and it’s a better place to live,” James Smith told the station.
Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) celebrated the move, saying in a post on X, “Whether you voted, consume responsibly, both, or neither, thank you for supporting violence prevention in Kansas City!”
He also added the hashtag “#PotForPeace.”
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) September 15, 2023
Rashid Junaid, a violence prevention manager at Aim4Peace, told KCTV that one of the program’s newly added teams will focus on the Hispanic community.
Kansas City leaders had previously removed all local criminal penalties for marijuana possession in July 2020, and, in 2021, passed a measure prohibiting pre-employment cannabis tests for most city government employees.
There have been some hiccups in the state’s legal cannabis industry, however. Last month state marijuana regulators adopted new testing rules to combat so-called laboratory shopping, in which cannabis producers seek to obtain higher THC potency scores from testing labs than what their products actually contain.
Regulators have also recalled 62,000 marijuana products that contained THC distillate from the company Delta Extraction. The company allegedly produced the distillate overwhelmingly from hemp-derived cannabinoids grown outside the state. A judge last month denied an effort to stop the product recall.
In July, a state official pledged to push for a demographics survey of cannabis business owners amid criticism that Black people are largely being left out of the burgeoning industry.
A statewide change last month allowed Missouri foster parents to keep and grow marijuana at home, though smoking and vaping are still prohibited indoors.
Meanwhile in the state, the Kansas City Royals baseball team recently became the second organization in Major League Baseball to partner with a CBD company, joining forces with Pure Spectrum CBD in June. Months earlier, the Chicago Cubs teamed up with a CBD beverage brand.