New Year Means New Laws Go Into Effect

(Memphis) More than 40,000 laws went into effect across the country today.

In Tennessee, you should get ready to dig deeper into your wallets.

One of the biggest changes you’ll see in Tennessee this year is paying sales tax for items bought online at Amazon.com.

It’s all a part of a deal to get Amazon to open two distribution centers in Tennessee.

The move will cost you more, but State Senator Brian Kelsey says it also brought hundreds of jobs.

“All businesses should be on the same footing when it comes to collecting taxes here in Tennessee,” said Kelsey.

Another law going into effect today impacts convention centers.

It does away with some of the regulations when it comes to constructing them, and that’s important to Memphis as the city looks to possibly rebuild or renovate the Cook Convention center.

“Under state law we had certain wages that had to be paid for public contracts. So if you were building a new convention center in Memphis or in Nashville, you would have to pay the carpenter a certain hourly wage, and now we feel that should be left up to the individual contractors and the private market,” said Kelsey.

Another new law having an impact in the Mid-South isn’t even here, it’s in Colorado. As of January 1, 2014, Colorado law allows the sale of recreational pot.

The NORML Tennessee Chapter is introducing a bill this week to legalize medical marijuana in Tennessee, and the group says the move in Colorado opens the door for the pot conversation in the Mid-South.

“Marijuana is Tennessee’s largest cash crop and to have that entire system is a black market distribution creates a criminal element with no taxation, no regulation, no control doesn’t make any sense,” said NORML Board Member Paul Kuhn.

Arkansas voters recently shot down a plan to legalize medical marijuana, but advocates say it’s just a matter of time.

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