Thursday, September 17, 2009

The tax heard round the world

Since the passage of Oakland's Measure F, which taxes medical marijuana the same as alcohol, the media has been in a feeding frenzy. Articles gushing over the revenue potential of marijuana have appeared in Time, The Atlantic, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, and Forbes.

Notably absent from this blitz is any criticism of the taxation of medicine. And there is some, by some of the most notable voices in the medical marijuana movement, such as Ed Rosenthal and Dennis Peron.

Click on the title to read the quotes from these people.

Notes from the writer of this blog:

In looking at what we determine to be medicine, I think there are two categories here. One is the medical industry, including pharmaceuticals, which it not taxable under current laws; and the other is alternative medicine, which includes, herbs, vitamins, homeopathy and other over the counter medicine, which is taxable. For those who choose the more natural and alternative direction, we are taxed on this "medicine". So if medical marijuana is categorized as alternative, then it is liable to taxes the same as herbs and vitamins. If this is the case, then marijuana should be changed from the Schedule 1 drug that is it currently listed under. If it is categorized as a "pharmaceutical medicine", then under the current laws, it should not be taxed.

In addition to the comments regarding taxes, the author of this article has yet again mentioned Bruce Perlowin and his company Medical Marijuana, Inc. The author seems to have taken the tax remittance aspect of the payment system out of context, inferring that MMI is making money off of the taxes, which it can not do. The tax remittance feature only allows dispensaries to be more transparent and in compliance with the CURRENT LAWS. There are many more features and benefits of the card, for example, eliminating the cash transactions which put both the dispensary and client at risk for theft. Other important information may be stored on the card, as well.

To set the record straight, Medical Marijuana, Inc. does not promote that medical marijuana should be taxed, but is a solutions oriented company that offers a simple way for dispensaries to monitor their sales and easily comply with the tax remittance laws.

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