Topic: Taxation

Update: Vermont Officially Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Sales

Yesterday, Vermont became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana sales and the second to do so via legislation (Illinois was the first in 2019). The State House of Representatives and State Senate previously approved a compromise bill legalizing marijuana sales and establishing a framework to regulate it, as we wrote about here.

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Vermont Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sales Passes General Assembly, Heads to Governor Scott

While possessing and growing small amounts of marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2018, it is still illegal to sell marijuana. A legal retail market may be on the horizon though, as the State House of Representatives and State Senate have approved a compromise bill that would legalize marijuana sales. The bill sets up a new Cannabis Control Board that would be responsible for regulating the cannabis market, including issuing licenses. Under the bill, cannabis products would be charged a 14% excise tax in addition to the state’s standard 6% sales tax.

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Happy Holidays! Cannabis Regulators Announce Higher Taxes and Suspend Cannabis Permits in California

California cannabis businesses and consumers have faced a rash of challenges as state agencies hike taxes and suspend business licenses. There is no sign of let up. On November 21, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announced hikes on next year’s cannabis mark up and cultivation tax rates. Effective January 1, 2020, the newest mark up rate will increase from 60% to 80%.

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It’s Complicated: Tax Revenue From Recreational Marijuana Remains Difficult to Estimate

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817. That idiom remains true today, and with the legalization of recreational marijuana markets, it was widely accepted that the taxes would allow state and local governments to plug budgetary shortfalls.

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Illicit Market Continues to Stifle California’s Legal Cannabis Market

It’s been nearly two years since California legalized recreational marijuana, and despite promises to curtail the illegal market, California’s black market continues to thrive. In 2018, according to estimates, about 78% of all marijuana sales in California occurred on the black market. That number (and the associated lost revenue for legal marijuana-related businesses and the California treasury) is frightening.

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