The Center for New Revenue is in the early stages of thinking about a conference on marijuana revenue that would assemble folks from the entire spectrum of views on legalization. Here is a draft list of issues:
Monopoly vs. Taxation
Whatever the advantages of the monopoly model, most states are choosing tax and regulate instead. But Oregon’s ill-conceived 2012 Measure 80 monopoly almost passed. Will and should marijuana schemes use both models, like liquor in the states today – such my state of North Carolina, where liquor is sold only in state-owned stores? How might monopolies best be structured?
Alcohol and tobacco taxes are virtually all based on volume (weight) or potency. So far, most marijuana taxes use a primitive percentage-of-price base, but there are some new ideas for a tax base, like square footage under cultivation, number of plants, and even unusually high use of electricity (designed to reach indoor grows). Europe taxes tobacco in several overlapping ways. What are the best ideas for marijuana taxes?
If there is a price war, legislatures are rarely nimble enough to match wits with energetic entrepreneurs, even illegal ones. How can governments build flexibility into a revenue scheme?
For instance, should medical marijuana get a tax break? And what about tax breaks for environmentally friendly operations?
Denial of deductions in Tax Code section 280E
Does the blunt instrument of the current federal statute work adequately to deter advertising and promotion? Is there a better federal tax policy toward state-legal marijuana?