The Marijuana Value Tax Act was introduced to California today, a bill that would see a 15 percent tax added at the point of sale of medical marijuana products.
The bill was introduced by Senator Mike McGuire.
“This needed revenue will make our communities stronger by focusing on the impacts of cultivation and use of marijuana, including funding local law enforcement and neighborhood improvement programs, state parks, drug and alcohol treatment and environmental rehabilitation,” said Senator McGuire.
Should the bill pass muster, it’s estimated the Marijuana Value Tax Act will bring in over $100 million in new revenue.
30 percent of revenue from the tax will go to the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation for the purposes of oversight of cultivation, processing, manufacturing, distributing and sale of medical cannabis.
Another 30 percent would be directed to the state’s General Fund, 20 percent to State Parks, 10 percent to the California Natural Resource Agency and 10 percent to drug and alcohol treatment programs.
“Now that there is a long overdue regulatory framework put into place, it’s time to help fund the areas that are most affected by the cultivation – those communities that have long been paying the price of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the ‘bad actors’ who destroy the environment and bring in crime,” Senator McGuire said.
According to a report published on Yale University’s Environment 360 last year, illegal growers are destroying fragile forests in northern California.
“The guerilla growers are building poorly engineered, illegal roads, scraping off the forest, and then sometimes putting up hastily dug trenches that are just lined with plastic, high in the landscape so they can gravity-feed the water to their marijuana plants. And those can fail, taking hillsides down into the rivers,” said biologist Mary Power.
Pesticides, rodent poisons and fertilizers accompany the illegal cultivation, as does the shooting of animals; plus diversion of water resources.
Senator McGuire was the driving force behind groundbreaking legislation passed last year that created a comprehensive regulatory framework for the state’s medical marijuana industry.
The latest bill, SB987, will require support from two-thirds of lawmakers in the Assembly and state Senate to pass.