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Marijuana Taxes in Washington Could Get Lowered

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marijuana taxes tax

(via dailyfinance.com)

When Washington rolled out legal recreational marijuana sales last year, a lot of customers got sticker shock. Some of my friends were reporting grams costing $25 and higher. A lot of that was due to the fact that there weren’t many producers operating at the time, so supplies were very low. However, another big contributing factor is taxes. As supplies flooded the market, prices dropped, but they are still around $15 per gram due to Washington’s high tax rate on marijuana. It sounds like there may be some tax relief on the way. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Washington State recreational marijuana shops have been struggling underneath a heavy tax burden, but state lawmakers could soon deliver some relief – in stages, at least.

A proposed bill being considered by policymakers would reduce the current excise tax structure – 25 percent each time cannabis changes hands, from producer to processor to retailer – to a single tax paid by consumers. According to The Seattle Times, the suggested change would institute a 37% tax, and downgrade that to 30% in July 2017, and then 25% in 2019.

Sales tax would still be collected as well.

The tax rate would be a tremendous boost to the profit margins for businesses. Consumers would carry a heavier burden of the taxes on marijuana, which sounds harsh at face value, but it would result in a cheaper end product so it works out on the consumers end. Businesses would still have to deal with 280e provisions, which dramatically cut into profit margins, but at least they would pay less taxes overall. Thoughts?

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Johnny Green

34 Comments

  1. I’m surprised you can spell such a complex word there, Ace. But those two (Patty Murray and Maria Whats-Her-Name) are already in DC and boy did you call them right!! Thanks for your effort…

  2. The prices are insane,why would anyone pay $700 for an ounce at a state run store when you can buy the same ounce for $200 on the street? This is why medical marijuana is going down cause the stores aren’t making what they thought. Maybe if the state would tax weed like everything else people mite go to the stores. I will never spend a dime at these big wig stores, not as long as they charge what they do. $75 for an eigth is just completly looney tunes bonkers crazy. Get your heads outta your butts Washington you can’t compete with the black market when your prices are almost triple.

  3. People die in agonizing pain refusing to consume cannabis. Its all about belief. You believe in it, they don’t. Also, it doesn’t work for everyone. Neither does Vicoden or Tylenol. I seriously doubt many MMJ users “need” this stuff like they say. Its more an inability to cope which the Cannabis alleviates, not the actual suffering. And any euphoriant can do that.

    The fact is hemp can do most of what MMJ is doing as far as relieving acutal pain goes. Guess why CBD isn’t really that common in MMJ at all. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the lack of euporia.

  4. They didn’t tell you the grower has to have a processor’s license for harvest. Thats a 50% tax on the grower. They could just delete that one designation which would lower the total tax to about what Oregon’s will be. Oregon will have more chronic though because the tax is 100% on the grower and it is a flat tax at $560/lb. Basically, growing mids will be like growing any other cash crop as far as margins go because, really, who is going to pay more than $100 for an oz of mids?

  5. I submitted 3 years of medical records to get a WA> authorization. Their are some flaky outfits out there. But the 502 stores have drummed up a bunch of lies and deception trying to make people believe they can just walk in and get an authorization. If they can. Good luck.I wouldn’t. Authorizations are only good as an affirmative defense in court. Caveat emptor

  6. I to have serious medical problems my back is totally shot I’ve already had 5 operations and now they want to do another one too 3 more disc and my arthritis is so severe around my whole vertebraes is that when they did a bone scan they could not even see my disc’s at all and I know quite a few people and I have serious complications with their bodies to so I don’t understand why some people think we don’t need medical marijuana try living in our shoes for a day and C what you think

  7. Like any other medication you get a tolerance 6 plants 2 years bull dookie. No plant would produce enough your not a grower either…lol

  8. Excuse me Tim but to get a medical card you have to have a medical problem in WA. I know more than one person it helps on a regular basis, just because you don’t have grand mal seizures, 2 brain tumors, ect. Like me don’t complain cause you can’t get a medical card…

  9. Dtqtavid here in wash. Anyone with a pulse can get medical. Give me break.No records necessary.$100 license to grow.I live here I dont know where you are but. Everyone who was just a grower is now a “medical grower” same in ca. And oregon

  10. David They are not destroying our medica law. They are writing one. I am a medical user and grower. But i hate the medical thing is b.s. I am opposed to drawing a line between medical use and non. Very divisive I feel all use is medical. And they can’t allow separate systems.And i could smoke for 2 years on 6 plants

  11. I hope they do lower taxes. It is way too high.I support the kohl-welles bill. Homegrow for everyone. We don’t need separate stores. Just give medical a discount and a section for tinctures.90% of medical people are no sicker than the other people. This is a fact.This change is coming so it will be good when it passes so the industry can stabalize & people can adjust and move on. I’m so sick of medical people whining about legal pot. They are to legalization like a bad child that grows up and trys to kill its parent. Once we have legal pot medical is largely irrelelevent. Herb is medicine for all people equal access for all people. Stop the marijuana apartheid.

  12. I expect Colorado will tighten up it’s medical requirements soon. Now that prices are equalizing, the store owners I’ve talked with say they think the medical side will diminish and eventually almost all their business will be “recreational” sales. Of course, a lot of that business comes from out-of-state visitors, but that won’t last forever, with several other states expected to join Colorado and Washington in the next few years.

  13. I encourage all Washington medical marijuana patients to contact their state representatives and senator’s to let them know that any plan allowing I-502 recreational grows should be scuttled unless they also allow for our medical dispensaries to remain open. Thank you.

  14. That’s what I thought but wasn’t sure. I’ve been getting catalogs and menu’s from people who want to cater to medical patients if they fuck-up and close all of the dispensaries. Hard to believe a supposedly sophisticated city and progressive state like Washington is willing to write it all off. Thanks

  15. Yep, I thought the same. Kind of defeats the purpose of legalization. They promised medical patients in WA. (in order to garner our much needed political support) that if legalization were to pass, our medical marijuana law would be left alone. Now, the legislature wants to either close every Washington medical marijuana dispensary, or, keep some of them, open but exclude them from selling any cannabis flower’s. whatsoever. Medical dispensaries would be limited to selling edibles and BHO/ concentrates ONLY. One thing they’ve actually accomplished has been to turn recreational buyers against medical marijuana patients, by offering the rec. buyer’s the dangling carrot on a stick of allowing them to have 6 plant recreational grows. Now I’m ok with grows, but in order to do it they want to cut a current medical patients grow limit from 15 plant’s down to 6. Thereby, matching the rec. grower’s. This would be astonishingly short-sighted and grossly unfair for very ill medical patients. Clearly, the states true intention is now on display to entirely destroy Washington’s medical medical law, (which actually dates back to 1979 but wasn’t implemented until 1998 due to a pending lawsuit). To say medical patients in Washington have a case of legalization buyer’s remorse, would be a gigantic understatement. I didn’t think I’d ever envy California after they voted down legalization in 2010. I sure envy them now. Thanks for the reply.

  16. ” guess what you don’t pay if they don’t write the prescription”
    In case you’re unaware, in Washington, we receive medical “authorizations.” Patients do not receive a “prescription.” Applying for a VALID first time Washington authorization shouldn’t cost more than $70-$85. A renewal is normally about $60. First timer should expect to be asked to provide 2-3 years of medical records, that support a state qualifying illness under Washington MMJ law. I strongly stress the word valid. Why? Because the validity of a medical authorization is on the person using it. Caveat Emptor.

  17. $100? 200? Oh, you mean BRIBING someone to write a bogus authorization ? This is a big wide open city, I can probably find freshly killed Amazonian monkey meat for sale not far away, for the right price. A VALID Washington medical authorizations should never cost more than $100. For example, I renew my own for $60. The legality of an authorization is all on you. Caveat Emptor

  18. Somethings stinks. Colorado’s MMJ patient cannabis sales have nose-dived into the ditch. Have they moved on to friendlier medical environs, (Nevada for example)? Or, returned to prescription medication ? Colorado state officials are stumped. It’s not “Socialist’s” that concern me, it’s money grubbing capitalist’s, who view the very sickest among us as competitor’s. Washington should be learning from this, not trying to emulate it.

  19. yes it IS that easy to get a mmj prescription in WA. get 100$, maybe $200. guess what you don’t pay if they don’t write the prescription. Get real. The medical system is very leaky.

  20. firetheliberals on

    I went to a legal weed store in bellevue at christmas. 35 to 52 a gram for weed promoted as designer grade..bought nothing..
    Ridiculous, mmj in issaquah is 12 to 15 bucks a gram..and you can smell it..no prepackaged stuff.

    The socialists in charge definitely screwed up this market.. they should have adopted the colorado concept and let mmj shops start with legal without the exorbitant taxes..

  21. Yeah, i agree. It’s become so greedy, and back-stabbing I’m leaving Washington as soon as I return from Southern Europe later this spring.

  22. Sounds like a leaky sieve. Anyway, up here it’s not that easy .Three years of past medical records in order to prove a state listed qualifying condition is usually the norm. I recently read an article about Colorado’s medical marijuana purchases having nose-dived. They first thought this was due to increased home grows, but upon further investigation, ruled this out as a cause. Odd. Thanks.

  23. Wow…this makes a LOT of financial sense! Too bad this is Washington state that’s run by DemocRATS that only know how to tax and spend so THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Just like the Republicans when they come into office though here in Lib Land that doesn’t happen very often. The Dem’s OWN this place. Anyway, this will be a NO-GO because it would require some common sense from Olympia. And they’ve been out of that longer than they’ve been out of more money for schools (that’s an inside joke as the State Supreme Court recently ruled the state has been short changing education funding for about as long as they were fighting cannabis and ordered them to REMEDY that problem and fully fund education. The state’s response? With what? We want to spend it on everything else…) Although I STILL WONDER why this state is allowed to keep taxing a Schedule 1 substance which has been against federal law since about forever. And I’m sure Patty & Maria (Murray & Cantwell) will have nothing to say about this….either. (What DO those two do?) But that’s one of the more puzzling aspects of legal cannabis in this state though one could add this is most likely due to the state’s GREED and the incompetence of this whole recreational…scheme and those running it. Anyway here’s how NOT to do “legalization”. And if you want it done right BEG, BORROW OR STEAL a free market Libertarian type as they seem a little more market orientated than our status-quo tax happy politicos.

    Go Seahawks!!!
    (Now if they could run cannabis legalization here like they run the Seahawks this really would be the “promised land”…)

  24. I’m not sure how it works in Washington, but this is very believable in Colorado. You can get a medical referral for cannabis with very little effort, and many “red cards” are in use by folks whose primary ailment is “salestaxaphobia,” even though our taxes are lower than Washington’s.

  25. ” I became frustrated and went and got a script for MMJ. The difference was night and day, cannabis was readily available, in a multitude of forms, and the prices were astoundingly reasonable”
    This could have easily have been written by an anti-medical marijuana dispensary lobbyist. Let me get this straight. You obtained a new Washington medical marijuana authorization simply because you balked at paying 502 retail store prices ? I don’t believe you.

  26. Every tax, every regulation comes with an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

    No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes.

  27. Shiftless Pilgrim on

    How about this, WA state lets retailers act like retailers of any other product.
    Within a couple weeks of the 502 stores starting to open, the weed was scarce and expensive on the shelves and very few stores open, I became frustrated and went and got a script for MMJ. The difference was night and day, cannabis was readily available, in a multitude of forms, and the prices were astoundingly reasonable. And here we go, at the MMJ dispensaries you can see and smell the product, they have samples and real specials, and some have swag like t-shirts for sale to help foster loyalty.
    The 502 laws have got to be amended to ease up on the taxes, but also free up the retailers and the consumers.

  28. This is encouraging. Hopefully Oregon will follow suit. Marijuana tax should not be expected to fill the coffers of municipalities and it does not justify a sin tax assessment.

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