State to collect sales tax on medical marijuana
California's tax collectors want their share of the burgeoning medical marijuana business.
The state Board of Equalization announced Thursday that medical marijuana dispensaries are not exempt from paying sales tax.
The decision reaffirms current policy that the selling of medical marijuana involves taxable tangible property, the board said.
The decision, reached in a vote Wednesday, involved the Berkeley Patients Group Inc., a Northern California dispensary, which maintained that marijuana should have the same exemption from sales tax as other medicines prescribed by doctors. Audits conducted for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2007, found that the Berkeley Patients Group owed the state in excess of $6.4 million in taxes and interest.
The decision underscores the need to regulate and tax marijuana distribution and sales, said board Chairman Jerome Horton, who represents Los Angeles County.
"The time is overdue for the state to provide leadership for this industry regarding the manufacturing and sale of marijuana similar to what we did for cigarettes and liquor," Horton said. "Such proposed controls will have the same effect of regulating and controlling sales and capturing appropriate sales tax."
Horton said he was proposing legislation that would put the board in charge of administering a statewide licensing program for marijuana growers, importers, wholesalers and retailers.
California tax authorities estimate that the state currently collects $58 million to $105 million in sales taxes on $700 to $1.3 billion in annual retail sales of medical marijuana, said Anita Gore, a board spokeswoman.
Bill to Repeal Medical Marijuana Law in New Mexico
Study: Cannabis Gives a "HIGH" to the Taste Buds of Cancer Patients
As per the findings of a new study, conducted by the researchers from a University of Alberta, it has been unveiled that an active ingredient present in cannabis can give a new ‘high’ to the taste buds of chronic cancer patients, who otherwisefor a decreased appetite.
The study enrolled 21 people, who were all in the advanced stages of any type of cancer, except brain cancer. Of, 11 were placed on the dosage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and the rest were put on placebo.
The dosage was assigned to the members of the trial group over the period of 18 days, to be taken twice a day. Afocusing on taste and smell a preference of participants was also carried out before the onset of the therapy.
Surprisingly as many as 73% of THC group doted for ascended food enjoyment while 64% of themfor significant improvements in appetite.
On the other hand, just 30% from placebo group said that their enjoyment of food was increased. Nearly 50% of them reported for descended appetite with 20% showing no changes at all.
The researchers said: "Our findings areas there is no accepted for chemosensory alterations experienced by cancer patients. THCtreatment may hold multiple clinical benefits for cancer patients, beyond its indication as a treatment for nausea and its effects on appetite”.
Supreme Court Ruling That Landlords Can Evict Medical Marijuana Users
People are reacting to an Oregon Supreme Court ruling late last year that landlords can choose to evict tenants that are medical marijuana cardholders. In November, the Oregon Supreme Court said that housing providers are not required to rent to medical marijuana cardholders. The Southern Oregon Cannabis Center alleges the ruling makes medical marijuana users second-class citizens. However, some landlords welcome the ruling, saying that renters who grow marijuana indoors do damage to walls and ceilings when they knock holes in walls for ventilation and lighting fixtures.
"I didn't have the opportunity to say, 'you're not doing this properly, you're ruining the walls, there's mold growing in that corner over there'," said Laurel Adams with the Rental Owners Association. Many landlords say their resident won't reveal that they grow, and the landlords only find out during inspections. Some say medical marijuana growers have been a magnet for other crimes, like robbery and assault. However, cardholders say they have the legal right to use pot just as anyone else would use a prescription medicine. Representatives with the Southern Oregon Cannabis Center say that of their 600 members, only one has been evicted for being a cardholder.
Investing in Medical Marijuana
Last year sales of medical marijuana in California exceeded $1.3 billion, which was roughly 9% of the estimated $14 billion in revenue from all pot sales in the state. This percentage is quickly getting larger in a market that continues to grow. Assuming the overall market reaches $16 billion in 2014, while the medical marijuana percentage grows to 15%, California medical cannabis will represent a $2.4 billion industry in two years.
A feature article in Mother Jones Magazine, reads, “In many respects, the semi-legit marijuana market resembles the early days of the internet bubble, where start-ups helmed by young entrepreneurs with risky business plans sought venture capital and dreamed of stock offerings. Where dot-coms had server farms, the pot-coms have high-tech ‘grow ops’ indoor farms of wires, fans, and coiled air ducts that keep genetically selected, cloned pot plants growing 24/7.”
House votes to nullify Missoula Countyâ€™s marijuana initiative
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