California Cannabis Taxes Up for Vote in November | Canna Law Blog™
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016

On November 8, Californians will have the chance to vote to legalize recreational cannabis use through Proposition 64 (also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA). In addition to legalizing and regulating recreational cannabis across the state, Prop 64 will also add state level taxes for licensed dispensaries and cultivators.

Beginning in 2018, a 15% marijuana excise tax would be assessed on the gross receipts of any retail sales of cannabis. Though the tax is technically owed by the purchaser of the marijuana or marijuana product, the obligation to collect the tax is on the seller (e.g. the dispensary) as with other sales and use taxes applied in California. There is an exception to the excise tax for sales of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products, but only if a qualified patient or caregiver provides a Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued by the state. Though the decision to register as a medical marijuana patient with California has until now been completely voluntary, Proposition 6 will require a card if a patient seeks to avoid paying the 15% state tax.