Should state-legal marijuana businesses pay tax on net profits or gross profits? Basically every business in every country pays tax on net profits (after expenses). But the cockeyed and discriminatory rules for the marijuana industry seem to defy logic.
Colorado was the first state to legalize and regulate the production and sale of marijuana. They have a 2.9% sales tax and a 10% marijuana sales tax. Plus, there is a 15% excise tax on the average market rate of retail marijuana. It adds up to 27.9%. The state of Colorado collected sales tax on medical marijuana and various fees for a total of about $76 million, and about $44 million for recreational marijuana.
IRS tax code denies even legal dispensaries tax deductions because marijuana remains a federally controlled substance. The IRS says it has no choice but to enforce the tax code.
2013′s proposed Marijuana Tax Equity Act would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and allow it to be taxed–at a whopping 50%. The bill would impose a 50% excise tax on marijuana sales, plus an annual occupational tax on employees in the marijuana industry.
All these taxes lead to one outcome: higher prices for marijuana.