Washington May Start Taxing Medical Marijuana

 by lucy

On Monday, a group of medical marijuana patients and providers testified against a proposed measure that would tax medical marijuana dispensaries.  This increase in taxation would also lead to an increased cost of marijuana for patients, many have speculated.

The measure is intended to keep the black market from growing once the sale of state-taxed legal marijuana begins later this year.  Having one market where the marijuana is taxed and one where it is not does not make sense to legislators.

The bill had a public hearing in front of the House Finance Committee.  It would require dispensaries to pay a sales tax of 25%.  The 25% amount for medical marijuana is the same as what legal marijuana stores will be charged.

Many of the speakers at Monday’s hearing argued that medical marijuana should not be taxed because it requires the recommendation of a physician.  In Washington, prescription drugs are not taxed.

Despite this argument, many believe taxation of medical marijuana is necessary to uphold the integrity of the program.  “If we don’t equalize taxes, we run an even greater risk of a black market, and we set the stage for substantial market distortions,” Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the measure, said after the hearing.



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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. 2

    cmoney710 said on Feb 19, 2013

    These law makers are dumb. What about the real black market?

  2. 0

    Bubbles117 said on Feb 19, 2013

    hell yes it should be taxed for both type of users the sme way and the same amount, if the Government is making money from the herb they wont stay at war against it

    • 2

      StonedApe said on Feb 20, 2013

      Then you would have to tax prescription medicine as well if you did that. They will be at war with it for more reasons than tax dollars. Major business lobbyists will continue to place the right amount of money in congress' pockets to make sure that it doesn't get legalized federally due to the many ailments it would essentially fix; couple this with the fact that the logging and paper companies thrive on cutting down trees. They have their hands in the fiasco as well. They realize that having a plant with capabilities of cropping out so often without the need for reafforestation would dominate; it would simply cost to much money for them to convert over to processing hemp! That is why it was made illegal in the first place! So as a medical marijuana patient that lives in WA, as well as an NMD, I would say that it would be unjust to tax one type of prescription medication and not another regardless of its legal standing in our state now. It is a privilege(if you could call it that) to be a medical patient so why should we get screwed just because non medical cannabis users have to pay a little more to legally smoke in the state "considering they voted it in". Keep in mind that we also pay between 70 and 150 to renew our license annually. Something that regular users would not be expected to pay.

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