Medical marijuana excise tax moves forward in state Assembly

North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood’s proposed medical marijuana excise tax advanced Thursday, passing the Assembly with the required bipartisan two-thirds votes needed for any new state tax.

Assembly Bill 2243 would levy a $9.25 per ounce tax on cannabis flowers; a $2.75 per ounce tax on cannabis leaves; and a $1.25 tax on immature cannabis plants from nurseries.

Wood’s proposal is a tiered approach similar to how alcohol is taxed: based on the potency of the product.

“I have worked from day one to ensure our rural communities have the resources we need to prevent, and clean-up the environmental catastrophe currently underway in our forests and watersheds,” Wood said in a statement.

The “environmental catastrophe,” says Wood, is years of abuse caused by illegal marijuana grows that have trashed forests, caused runoff of chemicals into local waterways, and have sucked rivers and streams dry.

Wood’s proposed excise tax was originally part of his legislation, AB 243, that was combined with other bills and became the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

The tax, however, ended up being pulled at the last minute in order to move the MMRSA legislation forward. Wood kept the tax alive by putting it into a new bill, or AB 2243.

To read more: http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/NP/20160603/NEWS/160609916

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