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California, the world’s largest cannabis market, generated around $ 300 million in taxes during 2018, the first year of commercialization in the legal era.
This was announced by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration the previous week when they released the detailed sales and receipts of this industry during 2018.
The numbers indicate a possible stabilization in the State that has managed to collect more money than others that also legalized cannabis in 2016, such as Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine. Even so, less than the expected total has been collected during the first year that according to the authorities would be $ 655 million.
The reasons have to do with the multiple levels of taxes on producers and the decision of some counties not to give local production permits. Thus each sale has an 8.75% sale, the crop is taxed at $ 9, 75 for each ounce, local taxes to commercial places and offices, and finally, a 15% state tax.
What are the taxes collected by the states in the countries where cannabis has been legalized? In the case of California, taxes are reinvested in the Bureau of Cannabis Control (agency responsible for regulating the industry), police service, social justice and public health programs.
But this imperious desire of the State to collect taxes is possibly one of the reasons why the industry has taken so long to stabilize. Although, during 2018, companies with greater resources had the approval of the state to make legal sales, most of the actors are still in process and thousands of growers have retired.
That is why some representatives of the industry have introduced initiatives to the congress in Sacramento to reduce taxes. This is the case of the Republican Rob Bonta who requested a pause to the cultivation tax and reduce the state tax for some years.
This would give consumers and producers an incentive to enter the new market. However, the political feasibility is almost nil because a committee majority is needed to pass a law of this type. Also, legislators are looking for more profit and will not achieve it with less taxes.
This year it is projected that they will collect at least $ 419 million in industry taxes.
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