New York recently passed legislation legalizing a tax on marijuana in an attempt to stimulate economic growth. The new bill, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, will allow adults 21 and older to purchase marijuana and grow up to six plants at home.

Governor Cuomo expects the tax revenue to yield over $300 million annually, in part due to an excise tax that will be enforced.

Breakdown of Proposed Excise Tax

The excise tax comes in two forms: a tax on THC potency and an additional state and local sales tax.

  1. Wholesale Tetrahydrocannabinol-Based Tax: THC-based tax to be applied to separate parts of the plant, based on potency.
    • Flower: 0.5 cents per milligram
    • Concentrates & Oils: up to 1 cent per milligram
    • Edibles: 3-4 cents per milligram
  2. Sales Tax: All sales of marijuana will be taxed at a rate of approximately 13%.
    • State: 9%
    • City: 4%
    • County: 1% (approx.)

How the Funds Will be Spent

Tax revenue from marijuana would first cover the state’s cost of regulating and enforcing the legalization of marijuana. After this initial spending, the remaining funds will be divided among schools and drug treatment and prevention programs. New York will also work to set up a fund for investing in job skills, adult education, mental health, and other services in communities that bore the brunt of the national and state drug war.

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Devin McQuillan
Associate, Creative Solutions

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