Gage Skidmore

Kentucky State Senator Proposes Adult-Use Legalization to Bridge Pension Budget Gap

A Republican state Senator in Kentucky is proposing adult-use cannabis legislation in an effort to fund the state’s faltering pension systems, according to a Spectrum News report. Sen. Dan Seum said the plan could generate $100 million in annual tax revenues, which could help pay down the $37 billion to $64 billion unfunded liabilities in the pension system.

Seum said while the state really needs “a billion dollars” a year to fund the system, he sees the cannabis legalization measure as a “jobs bill” and pointed to the state’s bourbon industry as an indicator of the ancillary jobs that could be generated from legalization.

“I’m looking at adult use, because that’s where the money is at,” Seum said in the report, noting that he was also interested in expanding casino gambling but was “not inclined to look at any new taxes” until lawmakers “explored the possibility of creating new monies.”

Seum indicated that his son, Dan Seum Jr., visited Colorado earlier this year to study the state’s initial legislation and to see how lawmakers had tweaked the measure following its passage.

Seum said he would use Colorado’s bill, and their subsequent reforms, as a guide for his legislation.

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