The voters of Arizona spoke when a majority approved Proposition 203. Now a group of elected elites who know what is best for the people of Arizona introduced House Bill 2557 (aka the “Don’t Divert Money from the Drug Cartels Act”) on January 26, 2011, for the sole purpose of killing Arizona’s medical marijuana industry before it begins. Maybe the goal of the elites is to kill the dispensary industry so that under Proposition 203 nobody will live within 25 miles of a dispensary so all licensed patients can grow their own throughout the entire state.
Yesterday Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne issued a press release that said Arizona could impose a sales tax on medical marijuana and he estimated Arizona would collect $40 million in badly needed revenue. If HB 2557 passes, Arizona can kiss the medical marijuana industry good bye, which means no need for the 125 would be dispensaries to hire thousands of employees, security personnel, growers, transporters and the many other types of ancillary jobs that the industry would generate.
Here is the key language in HB 2557. It will amend Arizona Revised Statutes Section 42-5010 by adding the following as new subsection A.5 to read:
The tax imposed by this article is levied and shall be collected at the following rates:
THREE HUNDRED PER CENT OF THE TAX BASE AS COMPUTED FOR THE BUSINESS OF EVERY PERSON ENGAGING OR CONTINUING IN THIS STATE IN THE NONPROFIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY CLASSIFICATION DESCRIBED IN SECTION 42-5077.
HB 2557 will add the following new section 42-5077 to Arizona’s statutes:
42-5077. Nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary classification
A. THE NONPROFIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY CLASSIFICATION IS COMPRISED OF THE BUSINESS OF SELLING OR DISPENSING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO QUALIFYING PATIENTS PURSUANT TO TITLE 36, CHAPTER 28.1.
B. THE TAX BASE FOR THE NONPROFIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY CLASSIFICATION IS THE GROSS PROCEEDS OR GROSS INCOME DERIVED FROM THE BUSINESS.
C. IF A PERSON WHO IS ENGAGED IN BUSINESS AS A NONPROFIT MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY ALSO SELLS OTHER TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY AT RETAIL, THE PERSON’S BOOKS MUST SEPARATELY ACCOUNT FOR SALES OF THE OTHER TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY, AND IF NOT SO KEPT THE TAX UNDER THIS SECTION APPLIES TO THE TOTAL OF THE PERSON’S ENTIRE GROSS PROCEEDS OR GROSS INCOME FROM THE BUSINESS.
If you want Arizona to have legalized medical marijuana, you must tell your legislators to impose a reasonable tax on medical marijuana of 5% – 7%. Here’s the contact information for the Arizona legislators who introduced this bill and who want to overturn the vote of a majority of Arizonans. Send these people emails, letters and faxes and let them know you oppose outrageous sales tax on medical marijuana.