Recreational Pot’s “High” Price Tag May Drive More Nevadans to Medical Marijuana

Jordan Groussman, president of Dr. Green Relief Marijuana Doctors, is preparing for a massive influx of patients if Nevada’s recreational marijuana program goes live on July 1, 2017.

The company has already seen an increase in patient visits since recreational pot became legal on January 1.

“The recreational market might be great for Las Vegas tourists, but it’s a bad deal for Nevada residents,” says Groussman.  “There’s a 32.15 percent tax burden on recreational sales.  Once people start doing the math, they’ll see that medical marijuana is a less expensive alternative.”

The following is a breakdown of Nevada’s current recreational marijuana tax structure:

  • 15 percentexcise tax on wholesale purchases
  • 10 percent excise tax on retail sales (proposed by Governor Sandoval)
  • 8.15 percentlocal sales tax (Clark County)

Medical marijuana patients only pay a 2 percent excise tax on retail purchases, in addition to the local sales tax.  Even if patients factor in the yearly cost of visiting a physician and renewing their patient status with the state, they’ll still save money in the long run.

“Our patients pay $155 a year to be a part of Nevada’s medical marijuana program,” says Groussman.  “That’s significantly less than the overall 18.15 percent retail tax they’d have to pay for recreational pot.  And if you don’t think the dispensaries will also shift the burden of that 15 percent wholesale tax along to the consumer, then I have a bridge to sell you.”

Joe Pollock, deputy administrator of Nevada’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health, made a similar argument.  He also informed a Senate-Assembly subcommittee that Colorado’s medical marijuana program flourished after recreational marijuana became available to the public.

Medical marijuana patients could enjoy additional tax relief in the future.  Assemblywoman Robin Titus doesn’t believe that a sales tax should be applied to medical marijuana because prescription drugs are normally tax-exempt.  If Titus’s viewpoint becomes popular, the state legislature could remove the sales tax, making medical marijuana even more affordable for patients.

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Company Name: Dr. Green Relief
Contact Person: Nicole True, Vice President
Phone: (702) 707-2414
State: Florida
Country: United States