Tuesday, January 24, 2012


House Bill No. 2330, the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, is back.  For the third time this medical marijuana bill is trying to get an up or down vote.  In 2012 medical marijuana is not a trivial or a controversial issue. 

It is not trivial because the extremely conservative fiscal note accompanying the bill says the state will reap nearly a million dollars in extra revenue if the H.B. 2330 becomes law.  Specifically the estimate is an increase to state coffers of $971,871. 
This is no longer a controversial measure since about one third of the states of the Union have already passed similar legislation.  Those fifteen states are, in alphabetical order, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island and Washington.

H.B. 2330 was introduced by the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development and it is a well written thorough piece of legislation.  The bill is available online from the Kansas Legislature's web portal @ http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/documents/hb2330_00_0000.pdf.

The bill repeals K.S.A. 79-5210, which says "Nothing in this act [the Marijuana Stamp Act] requires persons registered under article 16 of chapter 65 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated or otherwise lawfully in possession of marijuana or a controlled substance to pay the tax required under this act."  Instead, the person in lawful possession of the cannabis pays, under H.B. 2330, the rates established by K.S.A. 79-5202.  Those rates are

(1) On each gram of marijuana, or each portion of a gram, $3.50;
(2) on each gram of a wet domestic marijuana plant, $.40;
(3) on each gram of a dry domestic marijuana plant, $.90;
(4) on each gram of controlled substance, or portion of a gram, $200; and
 (5) on each 50 dosage units of a controlled substance that is not sold by weight, or portion thereof, $2,000.
           (b) For the purpose of calculating the tax hereunder, an ounce of marijuana or other controlled substance is measured by the weight of the substance in the dealer's possession. The weight of the marijuana or controlled substance includes all material, mixture or preparation that is added to the marijuana or controlled substance.

Those rates appear to be directed at the medical marijuana pharmacy, and not necessarily at the medical marijuana patient.  The Committee will do a better job in crafting this worthy bill if it takes some time to tell Kansans what the pharmacists must pay in taxes and what the patients must pay.  Or will all the taxes be passed forward to the patient?  This refinement will be easy for the Legislature to accomplished because the bill more than adequately defines the useable portions of the marijuana plant.  We shouldn't be taxing the stuff going to the compost pile.

No comments:

Post a Comment