US (CA): "Questions remain about excise tax increase"

The governor's proposal to temporarily cut the cannabis cultivation tax has support from at least one Humboldt County grower, but the same can't be said for the decision to simultaneously raise the excise tax paid by consumers at the point of purchase.

"By most estimates, two-thirds to 75% or so of the cannabis sold in California is not sold in the regulated market," Ross Gordon told The Times-Standard. "So we really need a policy that will encourage consumers to buy in the legal market."

Gordon is the policy director for the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, which hasn't yet taken an official position. However, at first glance, he said there were both positive and negative aspects to Gov. Gavin Newsom's May budget revision for the upcoming fiscal year, which was announced Friday. A proposal to eliminate a $161-per-pound cultivation tax growers have to pay for each pound of cannabis flower they grow is especially welcome news, he said.

The proposal would raise the excise tax consumers pay at dispensaries from 15% to 19% after three years to cover the cost of programs that were funded by the cultivation tax. That's going to be a major point of consideration as the alliance weighs its position on the proposal as a whole, Gordon said.

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