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Prop 64 and California Medical Marijuana Laws

Nov 10 2016, by Jessica McElfresh in Legal Blog, Medical Marijuana

The passing of Proposition 64 on Nov. 8 has naturally left medical marijuana patients and caregivers wondering how the legalization of recreational marijuana may affect them. If you have questions, a San Diego medical marijuana attorney can help you understand Prop 64 and make sure you remain in compliance with California medical marijuana laws.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that qualified patients and primary caregivers maintain all of their rights under Proposition 215. They continue to have an affirmative defense to all criminal sanctions, most of which cannot be charged as more than misdemeanors in nearly all cases thanks to Proposition 64.

Cannabis Sales Taxes

A change under Proposition 64 is that qualified patients and primary caregivers who have obtained the Medical Marijuana Identification Card from the Department of Public Health do not have to pay California state sales tax anymore on purchases of medical cannabis. Qualified patients and primary caregivers who only have a recommendation or designation from a physician must still pay sales tax.

On January 1, 2018, the State of California will impose a state excise tax of 15 percent on sales of adult-use and medical cannabis for everyone. Adult-use consumers and qualified patients and primary caregivers who do not have the MMIC will have to also pay state sales tax. Please note, numerous local jurisdictions have imposed or are going to impose taxes on the sale of adult use and medical cannabis, in addition to the state sales or excise taxes.

On January 1, 2018, the State of California will impose a tax on commercial cultivators of marijuana of $9.25 per dry-weight ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of marijuana leaves.

For several months, the California State Board of Equalization has maintained a new page entitled “Tax Guide for Medical Cannabis Businesses.” They will be posting regular updates as they build the tax collection structure for Proposition 64.

Local Ordinances

Since the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act passed in fall of 2015, many jurisdictions in California have passed or have begun to develop new ordinances to license medical cannabis uses of land, such as dispensing, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and testing. In addition to Proposition 64, many Californians voted on local ordinances to regulate medical cannabis uses of land and to impose local taxes on sales of medical and adult-use cannabis.

Some new initiatives approved by the voters are below:

  • City of Costa Mesa – Measure X has passed.This city-authored measure allows medical manufacturing, testing, and distribution.
  • City of La Mesa – Measure U has passed. Allows medical dispensaries, cultivation, and manufacturing.
  • City of Long Beach – Measures MM and MA have passed. Measure MM allows for dispensaries with priority to successful entrants in Long Beach’s dispensary lottery in 2010, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and testing.
  • City of Perris – Measures J and K have passed, allowing for dispensaries and taxation of the same.
  • City of San Bernardino – Measure O has passed. Allows medical cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, and up to five dispensaries.
  • Contact an Experienced San Diego Marijuana Lawyer

    McElfresh Law offers experienced representation for qualified medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and businesses, as well as criminal defense for marijuana charges. If you have a marijuana-related legal issue, contact us today at (858) 756-7107 to learn how we can help.

    California marijuana laws change frequently. For updated information, see the following pages: Medicinal Uses of Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Business