Taxing Legal Cannabis

Both Oregon and Colorado have legal cannabis, and both are still working out the tax issue.


In Oregon, which is open for business in a few days:

Legislators in Oregon have reached a tentative agreement on a deal that would result in a 20% sales tax on recreational marijuana. 17% of the tax revenues would go to the state, while the other 3% would go to localities.

The deal was made with the hopes that it will end the disagreement between cities and counties regarding how much power each has to limit sales of recreational and medical marijuana . . . Sen. Ginny Burdick (D.-Portland), co-chair of the Legislature’s marijuana panel, expressed a positive view of the tax deal: “We are reaching conclusions on this and I’m very encouraged by the progress we have made.”

Scott Winkels, the chief lobbyist for the League of Oregon Cities, was not as enthusiastic, noting that a mere 3% tax revenue for localities was not ideal, but went on to say that “getting the tax on the books, we view that as a victory.”

The 3% tax would be levied in addition to a state sales tax that has been moving forward in the legislature, and would replace the marijuana harvest tax included in the November Measure 91 initiative.

Find this complete original post HERE.

While in already open for business Colorado:

 Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper approved a bill on Thursday that cuts the tax on recreational cannabis from 10% to 8%. The break will not go into effect until 2017.

Supporters of the legislation argue that the tax break will help to bring down the price of legal marijuana, thereby allowing the state’s legal market to more effectively compete with its black market.

Furthermore, due to the wording of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), Colorado will have what is called a tax holiday on September 16th: marijuana sales will be tax-free that day. Although the legalization bill had originally been written so that it would repeal state taxes in 2017, TABOR requires that voters approve any new state taxes based on what the state estimates it will collect and spend from the tax. If either of these is greater than the estimates, citizens are allowed a refund.

Colorado hasn’t made more revenue from marijuana taxes than expected, but total spending is greater than initial estimates because of an uptick in the economy.

Another provision of TABOR is that it requires that the tax rate in question be cut to 0% in such a case. Hence the tax holiday: state lawmakers agreed to cut the rate to 0% for just one day in order to meet the constitutional obligation. The state expects to lose about $100,000 from recreational sales on the holiday.

Original story is HERE.

[image: Google images “tax collector”]

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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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