Jana Weltzin in Alaska Journal: Cultivators still seeking changes to cannabis excise tax

by Elizabeth Earl in Alaska Journal

Questions continue to bubble up about potential changes to state cannabis taxes to keep the current structure from hampering business in the future.

Alaska voters legalized recreational marijuana use in 2014, but it took about 18 months for the first cultivators to be licensed and open their doors. When they did, they began paying into the cultivation tax that Alaska assesses on commercially grown marijuana. Generally, any part of bud or flower is taxed at $50 per ounce and the remainder of the plant is taxed at $15 per ounce.

That tax is assessed entirely on weight, rather than scaling with price. According to growers, that’s going to be a problem.

Cultivators have had to account for it in their businesses and so far have been able to do so, in part because with limited supply, the price has stayed relatively high. That’s not always going to be the case, though, said Jana Weltzin, an attorney representing cannabis businesses through the firm JDW Counsel.

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