Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Washington Lawmakers Continue to Push for Federal Marijuana Tax

Washington legislators are salivating over the different types of taxes they can impose on the state's new recreational marijuana industry. Both Washington and Colorado state lawmakers continue to push for a federal marijuana tax on the sales of recreational marijuana. This tax would be allocated for public services and schools.

Some estimate that a federal tax on marijuana would bring in as much as $100 million in potential revenue. In California, the director of the California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws estimates that if California legalized marijuana, the state could bring in as much as $1.2 billion in tax revenues.

Yet in the industry, there are many that believe these estimates to be too high. Once marijuana is legalized, they expect the price to fall substantially, which will bring in lower than anticipated taxes. They are also concerned that increasing taxes on recreational marijuana will only drive people to purchase the product from illegal dealers. Even with these warnings, however, Washington state lawmakers are considering adding a voter-approved 25% tax to marijuana production.

Colorado is pushing or a federal tax code that would allow the state marijuana business to claim tax deductions. Until then, marijuana growers, producers, and sellers, wait anxiously to see how the new taxes and deductions will affect their new enterprise.