D.C. Could Collect $400K In Marijuana Taxes Over Next 5 Years


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‚ÄčA medical marijuana tax could generate about $400,000 for Washington, D.C., over the next five years, according to an estimate from the city’s top financial officer released on Tuesday.

Washington’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer provided the estimate to the D.C. Council, which has proposed taxing marijuana as part of budget negotiations, reports Jessica Gresko at The Washington Examiner.
D.C. voters legalized medical marijuana in 1998, but Congress for more than a decade blocked implementation of the law, until last December.

Earlier this year, the D.C. Council honored the will of the voters as expressed in 1998 by passing legislation permitting residents with certain medical conditions to purchase cannabis to help with their illnesses.
Council members are expected to vote June 15 on a budget including a provision that would impose the city’s 6 percent sales tax on medical marijuana sold in the city.
An ounce of marijuana is expected to cost around $350 in D.C., according to the finance office. Adding the 6 percent tax would mean patients would pay another $21 in taxes on an ounce of marijuana.
Patients are expected to buy an about an ounce per month, and would therefore pay about $252 in taxes over the course of a year, according to the estimates.
The city’s law, however, would permit users to buy up to two ounces of marijuana per month. Patients buying the legal limit would pay more than $500 a year in taxes.
The District’s financial office estimates about 100 patients would qualify for medical marijuana in the 2011 fiscal year, netting the city just under $27,000. The office expects 850 patients by 2014, generating about $213,000 for the city that year.
Adding the estimated revenue for fiscal years 2011 through 2014 adds up to about $400,000.
City officials still have more work to do before the first patient receives medical marijuana, however. For example, the city needs to develop and provide patients with I.D. cards showing 
they are legally allowed to have cannabis.
Some medical marijuana patient advocates decry any taxing of medicinal cannabis, pointing out that other medicines are not taxed in the United States.