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January 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Leaders and legislators are gearing up for the 2020 session and already discussing issues from sales taxes to medical marijuana. Plus, more positive business news means the new year is off to a good start.

  • Senator Clyde Chambliss Looking to Repeal Grocery Sales Tax: State Senator Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) recently revealed he would head an effort to repeal Alabama’s sales tax on groceries. Alabama, along with Mississippi and South Dakota, are the only states to levy sales taxes on groceries, which is 4 percent. When combined with other local sales taxes, the amount can be up to 11 percent in some parts of the state. Many believe there is support for the concept, but the challenge is how to replace the revenue reduction. Chambliss said he is researching funding options and looks to have a proposal for the upcoming session, which begins February 4.
  • AG Explains His Opposition To Medical Marijuana: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall told legislators in a letter that he opposes a proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana products for medical use in Alabama. He noted his work on the state’s ongoing crisis of opioid addiction and overdoses and said there is no evidence that medical marijuana could help that problem, and that it could actually compound it. The Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission voted to recommend a bill that would regulate how patients with certain conditions could use medical marijuana products under a doctor’s supervision. The proposed legislation would regulate how products are cultivated, processed, tested, transported, packaged, advertised, sold and taxed.

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