California Considers 15% Medical Marijuana Tax

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A new bill introduced Wednesday in California would impose a 15% percent tax on medical marijuana sales to pay for state programs and enforce new regulations, according to

But the Marijuana Value Tax Act, as the bill is known, may not be the only expense MMJ businesses face, since local governments could levy their own additional taxes. Combine the two, and it could mean a significant increase in MMJ prices, which could result in lower sales.

The tax is similar to those embedded in some recreational marijuana ballot measures that California voters could consider in November.

Observers said new tax proposals were to be expected after California lawmakers adopted new laws last year that require medical marijuana businesses to obtain state and local licenses under the state’s newly created Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations.

The state’s Board of Equalization, which administers revenue from sales, fuel, tobacco, alcohol and other taxes, said the new regulations would boost medical marijuana sales. California received some $50 million in sales taxes from 1,623 dispensaries that are registered with the Board of Equalization in 2014, according to

To pass, the proposed tax bill would need the support of two-thirds of the state legislature.