California story: “The CDTFA says its analysts determined a 60% markup on wholesale collected by distributors must be raised to 80%. It will ensure the tax paid on all products is equal to 15% as required by law. Cultivation fees are also going up. Basically, Blurton said that means a product that’s $60 today will be $70 tomorrow.” https://fox40.com/2019/12/31/marijuana-dispensaries-worried-about-californias-2020-tax-increase-on-wholesale/
Not following the math. I don’t know what figures to use, but I’m having trouble seeing why a product that’s “$60 today will be $70 tomorrow” on account of taxes. Looks to me like it should go up a lot less.
- Cultivation per-ounce tax
Let’s say that $60 is for an eighth. The cultivation tax on an eighth went from $1.16 (1/8 x the old rate of $9.25 per eighth) to $1.21 (1/8 x the new rate of $9.65). That’s a nickel more tax, but maybe it gets marked up in reselling to . . . a dime? A quarter?
- Retail excise tax of 15% of imputed price.
What is the new wholesale price that gets multiplied by 15%?
Say wholesale pre-tax and pre-markup price is and was $25. The old markup was $15 (60% of $25); the new markup is $20 (80% of $25). So the pre-tax price on which tax is calculated goes from $40 to $45. The tax goes from $6 (15% of $40) to $6.75 (15% of $45).
More realisitically, maybe, say wholesale pre-tax and pre-markup price is and was $36. The old markup was $21.60 (60% of $36); the new markup is $28.80 (80% of $36). So the pre-tax price on which tax is calculated goes from $57.60 to $64.80. The tax goes from $8.64 (15% of $57.60) to $9.72 (15% of $64.80).
Hard to see why the after-tax retail price should go up by $10 when one tax goes up by a nickel and the other goes up by around a dollar. There are markups on the taxes, but not 1,000% markups. Maybe I’m missing something. I’ll ask some friends in California.