Medical Cannabis Taxation Legislation Introduced In Washington Erik February 8, 2013 Exclusive Web Content, Medical Marijuana News, Politics, The Business Side of Medical Marijuana, The United State Of Weed Two representatives from the state of Washington have introduced legislation that would implement a sales taxation of 25% for all medical cannabis dispensaries in the republic. Rep. Ross Hunter Representative Ross Hunter and his colleague Reuven Carlyle are the two individuals responsible for the bill, and they believe that the taxation of medicinal cannabis sales will encourage individuals to purchase their supply from a state-licensed dispensary. “What we don’t want to have is two sources of supply, one of which is regulated and taxed, and one that is not,” Hunter claimed. The state Liquor Control Board is in the process of implementing regulations for the newly adopted Initiative-502 law with hopes of detouring less than honest cannabis businesses from succumbing to the allure of the black market. Furthermore, under the regulations of I-502 the sales of cannabis will be taxed at a rate of 25% at each juncture, from cultivator to customer. Rep. Reuven Carlyle Philip Dawdy is the spokesperson for the Washington Cannabis Association, and he proclaims the taxation of medicinal cannabis will put an unnecessary financial strain on an already economically strapped patient base. “There will be much gnashing of teeth in the patient community,” Dawdy avowed. “Anything that drives up the cost of medicine is not going to be helpful for patients.” Not only do those persons representing the dispensary system disagree with the taxation implementation, but individuals such as Alison Holcomb, the campaign manager for I-502, feel the measure may not be in the patient’s best interest. The language of the bill in question is drafted to read that the medical dispensaries operating “pursuant to” the state’s medical cannabis law would be taxed accordingly. There’s only one problem, the actuality is that the medicinal cannabis program guidelines weren’t written to allow a dispensary system to begin with. What? Yes, it’s true. The state’s medical cannabis law was written only to allow for community gardens by which patients can share their cannabis with one another. The dispensary system just kind of popped up like a properly propagated seed, and whether it was mere ignorance or true tolerance, the law enforcement officials of Washington seemed to turn a blind eye towards the quasi-legal businesses which has led to a proliferation of dispensaries throughout the republic. So for a dispensary owner to complain about a possible taxation enactment seems somewhat trivial considering the businesses shouldn’t technically exist in the first place. Several state officials are apparently in agreement with the fact that having two distinctive cannabis operations is somewhat illogical. Their solution is to have the obviously tolerated, quasi-state legal dispensaries apply for recreational retail outlet licensing in order to eliminate any confusion and possible complications. Representative Hunter feels he and his colleague’s legislation would align medical cannabis with prescription medications and medical supplies in respect to the taxation of their sales. “We expect this will wind up being less like a prescription drug, and more like a drug you might be prescribed by your doctor but that is also available over the counter,” Hunter said. One system of distribution and sales sounds logical, but I’m sure to the current patient base in Washington it conveys as a less than amazing alternative. We can only hope the bureaucrats can iron out their differences of opinion without affecting the most vital aspect of the whole medicinal cannabis program, the patient base. If you are a Washington resident with apprehensions about Intiative-502 or the current situation concerning the taxation of medical cannabis, then get actively involved on a grass roots level. The only person keeping your voice from being heard is you. http://twitter.com/Rikkusaurus Riley This sucks. Nobody else pays tax on their prescription medications! Why discriminate against medical marijuana patients? RobertChase “So for a dispensary owner to complain about a possible taxation enactment seems somewhat trivial considering the businesses shouldn’t technically exist in the first place” — are you incapable of grasping the fact that taxing cannabis at a rate of 25% more than once threatens to drive the cost of cannabis as medicine beyond the reach of poor patients? I must have missed the part of your article where you explain how it is that grossly overtaxing cannabis is supposed to keep patients in the legal market; anyone with a modicum of common sense can see that if the cost of legal cannabis exceeds that of cannabis on the black market, patients will be driven back to it. Mr. Dawdy may “proclaim” that excessive taxation will harm patients — it is obviously true! Where do you get off insinuating otherwise? RobertChase I read it. I disagree with the quote I cited emphatically. That statement really detracts from the thesis that cannabis as medicine should not be taxed. As an ostensible supporter of cannabis as medicine. you should hew to that theme, as opposed to offering the contradictory and very-much-trivializing one that since you and others regard dispensaries as illegitimate, the complaints of their owners about taxes (which are passed on to patients) are somehow trivial. Look; you are reporting on the action of two members of your idiot legislature, but that does not mean that their crazy justification — that substantially increasing the cost of medical cannabis through taxation will somehow “encourage individuals to purchase their supply from a state-licensed dispensary.” — should not be immediately refuted. Their bill stands reason on its head, but you do not see fit to challenge their inverted logic. It would have been appropriate to try to ask those morons directly how driving up the cost of medicine supplied by a licensed dispensary is supposed to squeeze (as opposed to expand) the black market. “One system of distribution and sales sounds logical …” — maybe, but this is just another example of the conflicted tone of your article: a unitary system of sales and distribution could and should exempt patients from the taxes assessed non-patients, but you seem to accept your enemies’ assumption that it would not — “… conveys as [sic] a less than amazing alternative” is not a very effective way of saying “impoverishes/harms patients”, either. If your characterization of the response of putative leaders of the cannabis movement in Washington to Holcomb and Carlyle’s outrage — that they ” feel the measure may not be in the patient’s best interest” — is accurate, then you need to find some new leaders with more gumption; the proposal is antithetical to patients’ interests — “may be”, indeed! I suggest that you start to consider the prohibitionists in your government as the traitorous, anti-American swine that they are, and not report their latest assault on the patients of Washington so uncritically. Robert Chase Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers http://www.facebook.com/aaron.erik.1 Aaron Erik Well. you didn’t read it, you read into it, there’s a huge difference. “We can only hope the bureaucrats can iron out their differences of opinion without affecting the most vital aspect of the whole medicinal cannabis program, the patient base.” Did I say the most vital aspect of this whole issue is the patient base? Hmm? Well hell, will you look at that, I sure did! Thanks for continuing the conversation and we truly appreciate your comments!