It's problematic that the rules on who will be taxed are still in flux. The state now not only considering eliminating all business taxes (which were heavily and clumsily applied, with a 25% tax on every stage of the production process plus sales taxes) but also pushing the burden of taxation on all consumers, medical or not.
The consolidation of the industry under one set of regulations in Washington State has now become reality. In a bill, introduced by Republican Senator Anne Rivers and championed by the Republican majority, the medical vertical in the state is now to be subsumed under rules and regulations created for recreational users and those who cater to them. Medical users will be forced to shop in recreationally-oriented outlets regulated by I-502 by 2016. They could also be subjected to sales tax of up to 37% if they use THC.This has set off a storm of criticism around the country, from both advocates to the cannabis business community. Christopher Brown, the press secretary for Americans for Safe Access, a patients' rights organization who lobbied hard for medical users on this effort, is none too pleased.
"This bill was a tough fight for us, and we definitely didn't get everything we wanted," he said. "On the plus side we were able to get several improvements made during the legislative process and we were glad that Governor [Jay] Inslee vetoed the section that created new felony offenses."