Partners for Our Children

Engrossed Second Substitute HB 2136 expands I-502 by changing the allowable uses of marijuana tax revenues for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and the Department of Health (DOH).

I-502 created a “dedicated marijuana fund,” deposited with the State Treasurer that consists of moneys derived from marijuana excise taxes, license fees, penalties, forfeitures, and all other moneys, income, or revenue received by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) from marijuana-related activities.

The substitute bill changes the types of programs that the DBHR is permitted to support using the revenue distributed to them under I-502 to include development and evaluation of programs and practices aimed at prevention or reduction of maladaptive substance use among middle and high school students. Also, the bill allows the DBHR to use their marijuana tax funds for evidence-based or research-based programs and requires these programs to be deemed cost beneficial by September 1, 2020.

From the amounts in the dedicated marijuana account, after appropriating amounts identified in other sections of the bill for surveys and studies, the legislature must appropriate the following:

Fifteen percent to the DBHR for the development, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of programs and practices aimed at the prevention or reduction of maladaptive substance use, substance-use disorder, substance abuse or substance dependence as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, among middle school and high school age students, whether as an explicit goal of a given program or practice or as a consistently corresponding effect of its implementation, mental health services for children and youth, and services for pregnant and parenting women. Provided that:

  1. At least eighty-five percent must be directed to evidence-based or research-based programs and practices that produce objectively measurable results and, by September 1, 2020, are cost beneficial;
  2. Up to fifteen percent of the funds are for new programs and new services directed to proven and tested practices, emerging best practices, or promising practices.  
  3. In deciding which programs and practices to fund, the secretary of the department of social and health services must consult, at least annually, with the University of Washington’s social development research group and the University of Washington’s alcohol and drug abuse institute.
  4. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016, the legislature must appropriate twenty-eight million three hundred fourteen thousand dollars. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, and each subsequent fiscal year, the amount appropriated must be increased by the annual growth in the Washington state population as published by the office of financial management plus the annual growth in the implicit price deflator as published by the federal bureau of labor statistics.
  5. Ten percent to the department of health to the creation, implementation, operation, and management of a marijuana education and public health program.

This act includes a contingency that Senate Bill 5052, which relates to medical marijuana, be enacted by July 1, 2015 before HB 2136 takes effect.