Medical Marijuana Taxes

With our latest national election now well in our rear view mirror, and all of the 10 cities with local measures on their ballots approving fresh or higher taxes on medical marijuana sales. It would seem that these 10 municipalities put their need for cash well above the shame of dealing with a federally prohibited drug.

While the national embrace of medical marijuana as a justifiable income stream highlights the continued growing acceptance of cannabis, despite the defeat of California’s Proposition 19.

Additional cities that have accepted special marijuana taxes, such as Oakland, San Jose,  and Long Beach, have all battled with recession-driven deficits and have all determined that it made sense look to marijuana as a means to help make up their budgetary shortfalls

Below are just a few of the proposed taxes that would have been placed into effect had Prop 19 passed.


Long Beach’s measure, which passed with ease, would have imposed a 15 % tax on businesses that sold marijuana for recreational use. Meanwhile the Stockton voters saw fit to impose a 4 % tax on medical cannabis collectives. This same measure would have levied a 10 % tax on non medical marijuana businesses.


Then there are the big boys up in Oakland. The voters there led the way last year by passing the country’s first special tax on medical marijuana, an extra $18 for every $1,000 in sales in addition to the city’s standard sales tax of 9.75 %.

Now the city of Oakland is on the brink of leading the way again by pushing the limits of government-permitted marijuana sales. By the end of this month, Oakland will begin taking applications for permits to run four industrial-scale medical marijuana growing operations.


So far almost 300 groups and individuals have registered their interest in applying for the permits. Each of those entities will have to pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee to apply. Then the recipients of the permits issued would be required to pay an annual fee of $211,000.


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