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US (AK): House bill aims to provide tax relief to Alaska growers

A bill working its way through the Alaska legislature is seeking to provide tax relief to cannabis cultivators in the state. House Bill 119, sponsored by the House Rules Committee, would reduce the tax on raw cannabis from $50 per ounce to $12.50 per ounce for up to five years. The current $50 amount is the highest in the nation.

If passed, HB119 would allow the state to exempt certain parts of a cannabis plant from taxation or establish a rate lower than $12.50 per ounce. Within five years, according to bill proponents, the excise tax would be replaced with a sales tax add-on at the retail level.

The reduction is one of the top recommendations from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana. The Alaska Marijuana Control Board voted 4-1 in support of the tax relief the bill would provide.

Heath Hilyard is the Chief of Staff to House Speaker Cathy Tilton. He provided an overview of the bill to the House Labor & Commerce Committee last week. He suggested that evidence exists showing illegal cannabis is competing with legal cannabis for sales in the state — and that is affecting revenue to the state.


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