Medical Marijuana: $350/oz Plus Tax

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘spotreporting’

MSNBC is running a story this afternoon citing numbers from the CFO’s office that DC could stand to make $400,000 in taxation revenue from medical marijuana. So little, I wondered aloud? They provide some justification, including the number that blew my mind just a little bit: they’re saying that medicinal weed will run $350/oz for those eligible to purchase it, and it will be subject to 6% sales tax.

So let’s see:

  • Tax on Cigarettes, $2/pack.
  • Tax on Liquor/Beer/Wine, 12%.
  • Tax on other tobacco products except cigarettes and cigars: 12%.
  • Tax on Weed: 6%.

Waaaaait a second…I guess it’s just subject to the same tax as other medications, but c’mon now, who expects this just to be used by people with legitimate medical needs?

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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10 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana: $350/oz Plus Tax

  1. but then why punish those who actually will use it for legitimate medicinal purposes just because everybody assumes that some of the users won’t be?

  2. Also, to be fair, plenty of people with non-legitimate needs are using traditional prescription and OTC meds for recreational purposes: codeine, oxys, cough medicine, vicodin, antihistamines, tranquilizers, deliriants, etc. If you bumped marijuana tax on that logic, a sizable portion of traditional meds need to get the same bump.

  3. I agree, if this is for medicinal use it should not be taxed, just like OTC drugs are not taxed.

    $350 / O is not surprising considering the packaging and regulation costs.

  4. What I found surprising was in the WTOP article it said you would be “limited” to 2 ounces a month. That must be some major pain.

  5. Also, doing some quick crunching, you’re looking at $46.38/eighth with tax based on those stats. DC banks $21 an ounce in tax money. If the average person uses an ounce a month (conservative estimate), that’s $252 per year in revenue. I agree, depending on how much comes out in additional costs for regulation and distribution, it may not be too much profit-wise, but is that really the goal?

    Now if we were just straight-up legalizing, I’d be more than happy to double that cost and make it profitable to DC. Vice tax is fair game, but when it’s medically-based, you can’t look at the patients as revenue streams. This law is there to help people, a huge need for a city with many sufferers of AIDS, cancer, and MS.

  6. I mean, they are taxing medical devices in the new health care bill and everyone who gets those has a legitimate need. Isn’t this the same thing?

  7. @Jen – the healthcare excise tax on medical devices is a tax on the revenues of the manufacturers – not a tax on the actual equipment itself. Medical device manufacturers enjoy profit margins more than double of that of Fortune 500 companies. Theoretically, that excise tax is coming from company profits – so it isn’t the same thing.

  8. The problem is the black market, they ultimately want to get rid of it. By taxing it so much, why would the average pot smoker pay that much if he an get it for 20-50 (est.) cheaper in the black market? if you straight up legalize it, tax it 3-4% at a fair price of say $200 an oz. of quality marijuana, i think people would definitely turn on to that, its cheaper than the black market, and it would sell like free money. It would even profit the average grower; medical marijuana coprorations or small stores outsources to third party growers (your average joe grower) and payes him a bit extra for a lower price than from the government plantations, and both businessmen work out for the better. More stores, more demand, cheaper price, HIGHER DEMAND.