If you believe numbers from the marijuana industry, repeal of federal tax Code section 280E might cost some $1.3 billion in 2020 alone, and then rise steadily after that.
Right now, section 280E says sellers of federally illegal drugs can’t deduct advertising, marketing, or selling expenses. They can deduct only cost of goods sold. They deduct product cost – what they pay to grow marijuana, or to buy it from a grower or reseller.
Once marijuana is no longer a federally illegal drug, 280E ceases to apply, and its revenue disappears.
How much revenue would 280E’s disappearance lose? That’s a tough question, and I don’t know. According to some industry numbers, though, repeal could cost over $1 billion a year in federal tax revenue by 2020. Continue reading 280E revenue cost
The field of marijuana taxation turned into the field of cannabis revenue, and now it’s getting down to the level of Technical Corrections. Keith Humphreys explains a Prop 64 drafting blunder. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/16/the-marijuana-initiative-blunder-that-could-cost-california-millions/).
No one’s perfect. I do some proofreading and editing for hire, Continue reading Avoiding drafting blunders
A friend who is a tax policy expert writes, after I sent him my 280E article, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2015/12/18/how-bob-dole-got-america-addicted-to-marijuana-taxes/:
“Thanks for your article; it’s really interesting and thought-provoking. You make a better case for 280E than Continue reading Pushback on 280E
California Board of Equalization elected Member Jerome Horton, an opponent of Proposition 64, came up with an October surprise to illustrate a weakness in the proposal. That weakness didn’t prevent its passage, but it lingers.
Member Horton alleged that a tiny, technical, last-minute drafting change in the California 2016 marijuana initiative could cost the state $50 million, starting in November. Indeed, the Board of Equalization has adopted his view and officially confirmed that the current sales tax on medical marijuana just disappears – for a while.
I don’t know how anyone would have standing to sue to reverse that ruling. So, apparently, unless the Legislature acts, the total tax on medical cannabis, over time, will be:
— 7.5%, (through the November 8 Election) then
— 0% (from certification of ballot results through 12-31-17), then
— 15% plus weight tax (starting 1-1-18).
That makes no sense to me. It’s a roller coaster ride, with no discernable rationale. A “blunder.” Continue reading $50 million “blunder” in Prop 64?
Drug Policy Forum of California provides these results of local California ballot measures, where it looks like every stand-alone marijuana tax increase passed. CORRECTION: The town of Colfax voted 63% for a tax measure that required a 2/3 majority. That’s the only loser. http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/votersguide1116.html#LOCALS
Beyond percentage of price, tax bases include:
Canopy, with different rates for indoor, outdoor, and sometimes mixed light.
Weight, with different rates for bud and trim.
Some remembered indexing. One phases out canopy taxes when the State sets up a weighing program.
Here’s the story, quoted from the Drug Policy Forum of California:
LOCAL BALLOT MEASURES
Adelanto – Measure R would impose an excise tax of up to 5% on all types of commercial marijuana activities. PASSED 67-33% Continue reading Groundswell for local marijuana taxes in California
Keeping my mind off the election, I’m giving a guest lecture at my friend Peter Barnes’s VAT and Sales Tax class at Duke Law and Sanford Public Policy Schools today. Readings are Sean Lowry’s excise tax study for the Congressional Research Service and RAND-Vermont chapter 5.
Slides are here: barnes-sales-and-vat-2016. The word excise can mean cut out . . .