Article by Brooke Edwards Staggs, The Press Enterprise
Many medical marijuana patients were worried that a ballot measure legalizing cannabis for recreational use in California would make the price of their medicine go up.
Instead, for some, pot got cheaper – though maybe not for long.
The state Board of Equalization recently sent notice that anyone who has both a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana and a county-issued ID card identifying the holder as a patient no longer has to pay state sales tax, thanks to Proposition 64.
The measure, which passed Nov. 8 with 56 percent of the vote, made it legal for Californians to consume weed for pleasure. It also created a new licensing and tax structure for all marijuana businesses in the state.
Most experts didn’t expect any of the bill’s tax provisions to kick in for another year, when a new 15 percent excise tax is slated to take effect.
So while medical marijuana patients are celebrating news of their early tax break, some state leaders are crying foul over the potential, unexpected loss of millions in tax revenue over the next year.
Meanwhile, the Board of Equalization and authors of Prop. 64 are scrambling to find a quick fix.