A House committee in Olympia held a public hearing on a bill that would tax marijuana brand names and trademarks that could be registered in the state when sale of state-taxed recreational marijuana starts at the end of this year.
The bill, which had a public hearing before the House Finance Committee Friday, would tax "all trademarks, trade names, brand names, patents and copyrights that are related to marijuana." The tax would be set at $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Democratic Rep. Jeff Morris of Mount Vernon says that the money would go toward agricultural research tied to health benefits. During Friday's hearing he specifically cited research being done at Washington State University on creating plasma from wheat, and making gluten-free wheat.
Meanwhile, in the only other state to legalize marijuana tourism is one of the biggest questions facing pot regulators in Colorado. A special legislative panel looking at marijuana regulations plans to discuss the question Friday.
The constitutional amendment approved by voters last year allows marijuana use by adults over 21. It doesn't specify whether only Colorado residents can use the drug, prompting speculation about marijuana tourism.
A Colorado task force made up of law enforcement, government officials and marijuana advocates recommended that the state Legislature not step in. The task force says out-of-state visitors should be able to buy marijuana as long as they don't take it home. However, many state lawmakers are appalled at the idea of pot tourism.