California Marijuana Initiative Freezes Tax Rates Too Long

Though leading drug policy scholars argue for nimble tax rules in the face of an unknowable future,  “The Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act,” an initiative in California, reportedly sponsored posthumously by Peter Lewis, with a 25 percent retail level excise tax, contains this proviso:

34050. Procedures.

(b) The Legislature may change the tax rate imposed by Section 34020, or impose additional taxes on marijuana and marijuana products, but not until April 1, 2022.

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Maybe the advocates are secretly hoping the Legislature will try to head off this kind of weakness by passing legislation and pre-empting the initiative.  Otherwise, it’s disappointing.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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