California looks to build $7 billion legal pot economy


California looks to build $7 billion legal pot economy

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

A handful of California government workers face a difficult task: By Jan. 1, craft regulations that will govern the state’s emerging legal pot market.

Californians last year approved a ballot measure that legalized the recreational use of marijuana, starting next year.

Now, state workers are trying to build the framework of rules under which the fragrant buds will be grown, processed, transported and sold.

The new industry has a projected value of $7 billion.

State and local governments could eventually collect $1 billion a year in taxes.

Getting it wrong could mean the robust cannabis black market stays that way – outside the law.

Gov. Jerry Brown has recommended spending more than $50 million to establish programs to collect taxes and issue licenses, while hiring more workers to regulate the industry

Groups claim plant polluted river

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Environmental groups are taking the Tennessee Valley Authority to trial over whether waste ash from its aging coal-fired power plant near Nashville polluted the Cumberland River in violation of the Clean Water Act.

In a bench trial opening today in Nashville federal court, the Tennessee Clean Water Network and Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association target the TVA’s storage of coal ash, waste from burning coal for energy.

The groups say ash storage ponds at Gallatin Fossil Plant have been illegally fouling the nearby river for years — and that state regulators haven’t properly addressed the problem.

The federal utility, which provides electricity in parts of seven Southern states, says it has followed regulations and decades of data show no impact on water sources.

Associated Press

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