What You Should Know About Cannabis Tax

What You Should Know About Cannabis Tax

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As state and federal laws continue to change, it’s important for businesses operating in the cannabis industry to stay up-to-date on all the latest tax regulations. This includes knowing about cannabis taxes, both state and federal. In this article, we’ll take a look at what both types of taxes are involved in the cannabis business, as well as some tips on how to minimize your tax liability.

What is Cannabis Tax?

Cannabis tax is a topic of much debate, as there are many conflicting opinions on how it should be handled. Currently, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This has led to a lot of disagreement about how to tax and regulate cannabis, with some arguing that it should be treated similarly to other Schedule I drugs like heroin and LSD, which are taxed at extremely high rates. Others argue that cannabis should be taxed in a way that encourages its use for medical purposes, while still others argue that it should not be taxed at all.

There is no clear consensus on how to tax and regulate cannabis yet, which makes the subject difficult to address legislatively. In order to start addressing this issue, Congress will need to take steps towards changing the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Until then, disagreements about taxation and regulation will continue.

The Pros and Cons of a Cannabis Tax

There are pros and cons to a cannabis tax, depending on the situation. A potential benefit of imposing taxation on cannabis products is that it could help to generate revenue for governments, helping to fund public services such as healthcare. On the other hand, some people may view a cannabis tax as being punitive, as it could cause prices of cannabis products to increase. Additionally, there is the risk that a high cannabis tax could drive consumers away from legal products, leading to increased use of illegal cannabis.

The Effect of a Cannabis Tax

A cannabis tax is an important part of the government's revenue stream. Currently, cannabis is illegal at the federal level and many states have similar prohibitions. As a result, cannabis taxation is challenging. There are a few ways to approach taxation: through production or consumption taxes.

The Production Tax

This approach taxes the producer of cannabis, typically a farmer or manufacturer. The tax would be based on the value of the product at its point of sale, including any processing costs. The goal is to generate revenue from producers while discouraging excessive production and ensuring that products are priced fairly. One drawback of this approach is that it may not capture all economic activity related to cannabis cultivation and sales.

The Consumption Tax

This approach taxes consumers for the THC and CBD they consume. The tax rates would vary depending on how much THC and CBD is consumed. For example, a person who consumes 100 milligrams (mg) of THC would pay 10 mg/mg excise tax while someone who consumes 1,000 mg of THC would pay 100 mg/mg excise tax and 10 mg/ml CDPH registration fee.[1] This method has several advantages over production taxes: it's more likely to capture all economic activity related to cannabis consumption; it's easier to collect; and it generates more revenue than production taxes because consumers tend to spend more when they know they're paying a tax.[2]


The legalization of cannabis has created a new and lucrative industry. With that in mind, it is important for consumers to be aware of the various taxes that apply to cannabis products. Not all cannabis products are subject to taxation, so it is important to check the product’s label for specific information about its tax status. If you are uncertain about whether a product is taxable or not, consult a lawyer or tax specialist.

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