News » San Jose to Begin Taxing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

February 28, 2011 by

Photo: Anna Fox

Included in local initiatives during the 2010 election and approved by the citizens of San Jose, dispensaries will soon have to pay taxes on their income. The measure is meant to help shore up the city’s budget by adding millions of dollars by way of a 7% tax. Given the economic hardships not just in California, but nation wide, these taxes help alleviate the need for taxes affecting the general population, furthering their appeal with the public. Measure U in San Jose passed with 78% of the vote, a landslide by most measures. With their business seen as illegal according to federal law it is yet to be seen how much these contributions to the city budget will further legitimize medical marijuana, but it’s certain that local support of additional revenue sources will have an impact.

As of March 1, dispensaries will need to begin paying taxes on their income, although the first tax payment won’t be due until April 30th, when they will need to begin tracking receipts of their sales. From that date forward dispensaries will need to file regular financial audits with the city.

For the 100+ dispensaries operating in San Jose, the city has set up talks at City Hall to inform dispensary owners and operators of the new rules and what they will need to do to be in compliance.

As they say, money talks.

[source San Jose Mercury]

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33 Responses

  1. Good. Hopefully other cities will begin to see the benefits of taxing marijuana and follow its footsteps.

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  2. This is a good thing. The city needs the money, and the medical Cartel can afford it.

    I Hope this doesn’t make the clubs hike prices even more to pass these costs directly to patients.

    Only time will tell.

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  3. San Jose to Begin Taxing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

    #mmj #mmot #weed #marijuana #cannabis

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  4. Curious: is taxation a new thing for all Cali dispensaries?

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  5. I think it’s pretty sad that everyone views this as a good thing, while if anyone ever floated the idea of raising funds by taxing insulin and allergy medications there’d be riots in every city.

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    • Lets be honest, most people who get medical marijuana are not dying of cancer. If you have the ability to write a check or hand a card over you qualify.

      As for actual patients- there are a surprising amount of collectives that will serve patients at a fraction of the cost of dispensaries, if they charge at all. This isn’t even a good will thing- many do it so they can be considered care givers, allowing them to grow more (and sell it to dispensaries).

      So really, it’s just the dispensaries- which are really more like high end boutiques than pharmacies- that dead with the taxes. This measure has meant the DA has put [pot busts on hold](, and if it generates a lot of money then it can only help legalization.

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    • Some states do tax prescription drugs, but California isn’t one of them, so I’d have to agree with you.

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    • At San Jose hempcon, the docs giving out these cards had a beer in one hand, and a clip board in another. These were “certified” docs who had experience in other medical fields. Because folks didn’t wait in line, they paid extra for their medical mj card. Normally, its just a paper with an embossed stamp. The mmj card itself is an extra $20 for a printed piece of plastic. On top of paying for this “evaluation” and the money for a piece of plastic, the doc also pays next to nothing for his workers.

      Its a killing and they’re making off like bandits.

      That’s only the mmj cards, some dispenseries get dirt cheap weed in large quantities and mark it up like crazy. Everyone knows buying in the lbs is cheaper than smaller amounts, so noaturally if you’re a grower, you can talk to these clubs and everyone wins.

      Ultimately, it comes down to the patient, but really when it comes to some legal protection, quality weed, decent price, and 100% quality of service(esp not getting ripped off) AND free samples of edibles and or other strains, a bit of tax WON’T hurt.

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  6. Eh, I’m still buying quarters of high quality for 50 bucks, so as far as I see it we have very little to complain about in this town :)

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  7. James E Canady via Facebook on

    D O U C H E S

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  8. Though I’m usually against taxes, this will only be a great chance to show how much legalization makes sense. Once it is proven how much money is made off the taxation of marijuana many other places will want in.

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  9. The only problem with this is that EVERY DISPENSARY in San Jose is operating ILLEGALLY due to the city’s lackluster job of putting together any sort of regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. It’s completely unfair and ridiculous to take taxes from these businesses (that are already operating as non-profits) without first creating guidelines under which they can safely operate. Epic fail, San Jose, but please keep trying!

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  10. More taxation is NOT a good thing.

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  11. I’m 100% okay with reasonable taxation on these places as long as they are 100% protected from any police or federal thievery.

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  12. So in addition to being shitted on by federal law, now ents get to pay for the public’s social services. Singling out cannabis for taxation is a bitch move, and also discrimination. Fuck fuck fuck this.

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    • meddelem via Reddit on

      i think i’m getting your point..

      one: the dealers are getting shit on by federal laws.

      two: their getting shit on having to pay federal taxes?

      that is outrageous. it ought to be one or the other, not both.

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  13. LA is also about to vote on taxing pot.

    My take: I very much want to see pot legalized and think it will provide great tax revenue to the state…in SALES TAX.

    I dont think medical marijuana should be taxed. Recreational should be subject to the same sales tax as everything else in a given area.

    That said, most dispensaries in California do not operate as non profit as the law stipulates. There are serious patients, but most people who utilize the dispensary are not (and I am totally cool with that). So this is sort of something I half disagree and half agree with that can be rectified by legalization and regulation of pot.

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  14. Paying taxes as a medical marijuana dispensary is essentially admitting to a federal crime. I hope these dispensaries honesty won’t come back to bite them.

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