The passing of Prop 64 ushered in “recreational” cannabis to the State of California. With that brought new laws, copious amounts of regulatory commissions, still no banking solutions, and most important of all...TAXES!
Yes, I said it. Taxes. But do any of us really know what that means? Do any of us know what that means for our pocket books? I doubt it.
Well, I think it’s time we talk about the elephant in the room. 2018 has come and gone and we all need to understand how much taxes we are paying. By the time you’re done reading this you will understand what taxes you’re paying, who’s paying them, and how to avoid them. So let’s do it. Here goes your crash course in Cannabis Taxes 101.
There are three types of taxes you need to know about:
It’s important to remember that some cities aren’t charging a city tax as high as the City of Oakland California and others none at all. So the amount of taxes you are paying can vary depending on what city you are in.
Who’s Paying These Taxes?
Well the answer is EVERYONE!
Even if you have a medical card, you ask?
YES, even if you have a medical card. (Frowny face)
Surprised? I totally get it. And chances are that if you voted “yes” on Prop 64, this isn’t what you had in mind. Unfortunately, under the proposition the state fully disclosed this 15% excise tax and that (medical card or not) all cannabis sales within the State of California would be subject to it.
Now, everything that glitters is not gold and they definitely dangled that carrot that made the majority of Californians overlook the fine print.
There’s no going back.
The regulations are here.
You might be thinking, “Is there any relief to be had from these excessive cannabis taxes?”
Well, there is! But it’s going to take some effort.
Want to avoid paying all these cannabis taxes?
So...you can’t escape all cannabis taxes but you can dodge sales tax. You must first have a medical marijuana card and then you’re eligible to acquire a MMIC (Medical marijuana Identification Card) from your local Department of Public Health.
What is an MMIC?
A Medical Marijuana Identification Card is a state-issued license that allows you to buy cannabis without paying sales and use tax.
How do I get a MMIC?
You not only need your doctor’s medical marijuana recommendation, but also:
Your MMIC will arrive by mail. Once it does, access your profile on ProperRx.com by going to the menu and logging into your account. Once logged in, upload a picture of your MMIC and Proper Rx will verify your MMIC with the state and you will be exempt from sales tax on purchases until your MMIC expires.
Is it worth it? Are you getting one? Let us know. Comment below.
Wondering how you’ll be able to deal with the new 15% sales tax of cannabis come 2018? Wondering whether this hike in sales tax will be passed onto the consumer? Wondering if this price increase will affect the quality and quantity of cannabis you can afford to buy?
Well...you’re not the only one.
If you voted for Prop 64 then you voted for a 15% sales tax on cannabis. Pretty safe to say that the many voters were not aware of this. Sales tax is already high but I guess if we want recreational cannabis in the state of California then raising taxes is the only way we’re going to get it.
No use in crying over spilled milk. How do we approach this tax increase so we can continue to afford cannabis? It is most likely that dispensaries and collectives will be turning this increase over to their consumers. Based off the fact that it doesn’t make fiscal sense to eat the costs as a viable business, this increase will surely be seen in a higher retail price for cannabis or a straight forward charge of sales tax.
For most of us cannabis consumers, that will affect how often and how much cannabis we’ll be able to buy. This is concerning for medical marijuana users who rely on cannabis for relief and treatment of so many ailments. Luckily...we’ve found a loop hole!
Stay a patient and become tax exempt. That’s right. With the proper card issued by the health department you can become tax exempt from cannabis sales. And you don’t have to wait until 2018. Become tax exempt now. Here’s how:
Be interested. Be informed. Be active.