Thursday, July 23, 2009

For revenue, New Mexico looks to medical marijuana

Given the ongoing budget crunch the state of New Mexico and local governments are facing, a central question on many people’s minds is how to raise revenue.

While it’s still in its infancy in this state, New Mexicans might take heart from the emerging medical marijuana sector. We only have one nonprofit and a relatively small group of patients so far, so there’s not much to tax. But looking west, we might eventually take a page from California.

The state of California raises $18 million a year in state sales tax from medical marijuana dispensaries. And the city of Oakland just became the first city in the country to impose a sales tax on its local dispensaries. The expected revenue won’t be much, according to a New York Times report, but the mayor is still exploring “all measures that will help with our budget situation.”

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