California Scheming

California has a ploy to prevent the federal government from cracking down on medical cannabis. I think the state’s ploy is ill-considered and far-fetched.

Here’s the ploy:

“Reporting the cultivation tax:

“. . .

“– You are required to enter adult-use ounces separately from medicinal ounces for each category.” 03/13/important-information- for-cannabis-distributors/

Now I think one of the possible advantages of taxing medical cannabis like adult-use is that cultivators don’t have to decide which is which so soon.  Let the market decide, based on demand as time goes on. Otherwise, shortages and gluts will develop, as identical products have been put into a category that proved wrong. Continue reading “California Scheming”


Gresham’s law for revenue estimates

“Gresham’s law is a monetary principle stating that ‘bad money drives out good.’ For example, if there are two forms of commodity money in circulation, which are accepted by law as having similar face value, the more valuable commodity will disappear from circulation.” That’s from wikipedia.

The same phenomenon applies to official revenue estimates, it seems to me.

Say an industry has a friendly Member lined up to do its bidding. The ideal tactic for the industry might be to have the Member propose a number of different tax cuts, and get the official scorekeeper to produce revenue estimates for all of them. Then the industry can see which tax cut proposals get lower revenue cost estimates than they believe. Say the industry figures, based on confidential information that the scorekeeper can’t readily discover, that proposal A would benefit the industry by $3 billion, proposal B would benefit it by $6 billion, and proposal C would benefit it by $9 billion. Say the scorekeeper comes back with estimates (to make this very simple) that they all cost $6 billion. So the Member abandons A and B, and gets C enacted.  The bad estimate has driven out the good. Continue reading “Gresham’s law for revenue estimates”

Marijuana tax competition — in

Revenue from marijuana?
Not so fast.
Local retail taxes will weaken.
Local producer taxes will vanish.
State taxes will fail when federal legalization stops anti-import rules.  Continue reading “Marijuana tax competition — in”

280E revenue won’t keep marijuana illegal

[See UPDATE from 2 Feb 2018 at the end.]
Amanda Chicago Lewis has a thought-provoking article in Rolling Stone that points out the federal government is making money from federally illegal marijuana. I appreciate her allowing me to take issue with her thought — “the feds might be making way more money by keeping weed illegal than they would by legalizing” — by letting me say, “’The federal government is not going to do this for zero,’ Oglesby says.” Continue reading “280E revenue won’t keep marijuana illegal”

Nixon favored work; Trump disfavors it.

My friend and Chaired Professor Emeritus at UNC Law School Bill Turnier, who taught me tax in the 1970s, authorized me to post this: “The following thought occurred to me about the difference in the taxation of earned income under Nixon and Trump, or more appropriately their administrations. Under the current rate structure it seems that the most disadvantaged income class is that of income derived from personal services. It and some other ordinary income is taxed at the maximum rate of 37%. The 1969 Act introduced a maximum tax rate of 50% on earned income leaving other ordinary income to be taxed at 70%. It is just another marker of how much more the modern GOP represents capital over labor.”