SALT Report 2267 – On March 13, 2013 the California State Board of Equalization agreed to sponsor a legislative proposal that will eliminate sales tax on purchases of medical marijuana by patients in hospice care. BOE Chairman Jerome Horton said that, “The proposed measure is consistent with similar laws that exempt the purchase of most medications from sales and use taxes.”
Under current law, hospice care patients who suffer from cancer, HIV, and other illnesses are required to pay sales tax on their purchases of medical marijuana. However, if the legislation is enacted, a sales and use tax exemption will be provided for medical marijuana purchased by hospice care patients or their caregivers.
The legislation will require patients to apply for and obtain an exemption certificate from the BOE. The certificate will remain in effect for the duration of the patient’s California Department of Public Health issued Medical Marijuana Program identification card.
The BOE estimates that the total sales of medical marijuana are between $700 million and $1.3 billion annually, which results in approximately $58 million to $105 million in sales and use tax revenues.
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