Say NO to a 15% tax on medical cannabis in California! Tell your California Senator to vote NO on SB 987
May 29, 2016 | Don Duncan
UPDATE: The Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee defeated SB 987. Thanks to everyone who helped stop this bill!
Tell your California Senator to vote no on SB 987 (McGuire), a bill that will add an additional 15% excise tax to medical cannabis consumption statewide. The bill would add this new tax on top of existing sales tax and any new or existing taxes imposed by cities or counties.
SB 987 is harmful for patients. Medical cannabis is already subject to ordinary sales and use tax of between 7.5 and 10%, depending on the jurisdiction. Additionally, some cities and counties already impose an additional local tax of up to 15% on medical cannabis.
Adding an additional 15% to the cost of medical cannabis, which is not covered by insurance, will be an economic hardship for legal patients – especially those who are already economically vulnerable.
Imposing additional tax will be bad for public safety. Inflating the cost of legal medical cannabis will force some patients to buy less expensive cannabis from the unregulated illicit market – where there are no safety standards or oversight. That is the opposite of what regulations are supposed to accomplish.
SB 987 proposes that some of the money raised by new taxes will pay for state licensing and cleaning up environmental damage from medical cannabis cultivation. However, there are other ways to pay for these costs. Applicants for state medical cannabis licenses are already required to pay all of the costs of licensing, and cultivators who violate environmental laws are already penalized to cover the cost of clean up. We don’t need an additional tax on patients for these purposes.
Tell your California Senator to vote no on SB 987 today!