After-tax marijuana price target: $35 an eighth

I had the good fortune to be co-chair of the Regulatory and Tax Structure Working Group of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on marijuana legalization – a project of the Lieutenant Governor and the ACLU of Northern California.  In connection with that work, I spend two nights and parts of three days in Humboldt County, the heart of the cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle.  During a drive between San Francisco and Humboldt, I asked Terrance Alan, a long-time prominent member of the California cannabis community, what would be a fair after-tax price after legalization.  I got a quick answer: “$35 an eighth.” Continue reading After-tax marijuana price target: $35 an eighth

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CNR opposes California tax cut for marijuana ads

California is considering letting individuals deduct marijuana advertising expenses on California state income tax returns – for the first time. The bill isA.B. 1863, and is pretty far along. The text is at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1863 and far below.

I’ve long thought 280E was partly justified, and partly overbroad.  A compromise could treat individuals like corporations, allow deductions for non-problematic expenses, and not lose revenue. Continue reading CNR opposes California tax cut for marijuana ads

Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores

Policy makes strange bedfellows.  The local paper is stirring up doubts about the state liquor monopoly, and it should look for problems, but I’m still for government sale of intoxicants, as explained here:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/pat-oglesby/marijuana-under-president_b_8207864.html, and here:  https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR864.html (download).

Here are some emails:

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8/13/2018 10:09 AM
Dear Folks at the Christian Action League:

The Center for New Revenue opposes privatization of liquor stores. The profit motive for liquor sales (or for marijuana sales) is not the people’s friend.   [Letter to N&O, below, was attached.]

Pat

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Aug 13 (4 days ago)
Response (in part):

Thank you for this information, Pat. The Christian Action League has long held the same opinion and appreciates those who are willing to speak out clearly on both issues of privatization and marijuana use. Continue reading Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores

Can Marijuana Taxes Pay for Pre-K?

UPDATED 4:44 PM EDT 17 August 2018:  Maryland Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous tweets, “When I am governor, we will finally pass universal pre-K in Maryland. How will we pay for it? By legalizing, regulating & taxing Cannabis for adult use.”

My first reaction was that that revenue scheme will happen right after Mexico builds the Wall.

But, with a lot of caveats, taxing marijuana could pay a meaningful fraction of pre-K costs Continue reading Can Marijuana Taxes Pay for Pre-K?

The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores

The Raleigh paper recently exposed some waste and abuse in the North Carolina state liquor monopoly.  Sure, government liquor stores create problems, but the private profit motive for alcohol sales, like the private profit motive for marijuana sales, works against public health. My public health friends have understood that tendency since the Rockefeller Report preceding repeal of alcohol Prohibition.

Here’s a letter, just a beginning of a long argument, I wrote the author of the N&O article: Continue reading The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores

Tax Plastic Bags

The North Carolina Legislature stopped counties from banning plastic bags, so I wrote a Democratic Legislator I know:

“I am particularly interested in supporting candidates who will publicly support letting localities ban or tax single use plastic bags.  If you know some who will email me their support or otherwise go on the record, I will try to help them out a little.  What do you think?  Is that a helpful approach?”

He’s asking around. I have had one taker so far, and sent her $100.  A token, but still.  UPDATE 21 August:  2 takers, for $200 total.

More on “Wispy” in Alaska

Tax Regulators in Alaska are considering cutting the $50 an ounce tax on marijuana bud or “flower” to $25 for “immature flower” that appears “loose” or “wispy.”  Earlier post is at https://newrevenue.org/2018/08/02/tax-cut-for-wispy-buds-in-alaska/.

That seems like a nearly impossible line to draw — a huge judgment call.  But how about putting the decisions on the internet? Each low-taxed item would be photographed and uploaded.  The public could judge if government is overreaching, or yielding to taxpayer pressure.

Here’s another fallback:  Are wispy buds less appealing to smokers, and so destined for concentration? Continue reading More on “Wispy” in Alaska