States have proliferating categories of cannabis products to tax by weight – categories designed to be proxies for potency. Here’s an explanation I got about one in Nevada from Jorge Pupo, Deputy Executive Director, Marijuana Enforcement Division, Nevada Department of Taxation, who authorized me to share it in a talk I give in Los Angeles next week at the http://northamericancannabissummit.org.
“Small bud or popcorn bud tends to be lower in THC and mainly used for making pre-rolled joints or mixed with the trim for extraction.
“It is pretty well established in industry what “popcorn bud” is. It tends to be a lot smaller than the average flower and found low in the lower part of the plant. It is smaller because it is harder for light to reach the lower end of the plant, even when fan leaves have been removed [a problem for sampling for THC, but that’s not my point — PO]. The Department marijuana auditors and inspectors check the trim inventory and small buds or popcorn during the routine inspections.”
How workable that is, I don’t know. Colorado has six different categories. But this approach aims at potency more directly than an ad valorem tax does.