Here is the text of a January 26, 2011, press release by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne:
HORNE TO RECOMMEND TAXATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Phoenix (Wednesday January 26, 2011) – Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that he is recommending to the Arizona Department of Revenue that medical marijuana, made legal in a recent initiative, be taxed by the State.
Horne stated, “I was opposed to the medical marijuana initiative during the 2010 election, but it was passed by the voters and the issue now presented is whether it should be taxed under existing law.”
He added, “Normally, there would be no tax on prescriptions. However, the legislation refers to doctors giving a ‘written certification’ rather than a prescription, an apparent effort, copied from other states, to protect doctors from discipline for giving prescriptions of substances prohibited under federal law. Since these are ‘written certifications’ rather than prescriptions, the sale of the substance can be taxed by the State, and we are recommending to the Department of Revenue that it tax the sales accordingly. We are informed by the Department of Revenue that they will take this advice, and tax the sales.”
The taxes are estimated to yield revenues to the State of Arizona in the approximate amount of $40 million per year. This number is projected, on a pro rata basis, to the Arizona population the statistics for Denver County, as reported by the Denver Post using the Phoenix sales tax rate.