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High Times: a look at weed tax laws across the country


A bill that would increase the tax rate on recreational marijuana from 12 percent to 28 percent sparked quite a bit of controversy when it was introduced in the Massachusetts House last Thursday.

Advocates who want to preserve the legalization law approved by voters were apoplectic, saying the tax rate pushed by the House would contribute to illegal sales by jacking up the price of legal pot. Supporters of the House measure claim it would keep marijuana out of the hands of minors by sharply limiting advertising and putting more restrictions on edibles — food with marijuana cooked in.

The Massachusetts Senate has put forward its own version of the bill, with tax rates at 12 percent. Lawmakers aim to send a final version to the governor by the end of the month, but in the meantime, here is a look at where tax rates stand in the other states that have legalized marijuana and the revenue they have brought in.



■  Has no sales tax but taxes recreational marijuana at $50 per ounce of the bud while the leaves and stems are taxed at $15 per ounce.

■  Medical marijuana is taxed the same as recreational.

■  Recreational marijuana was legalized in October 2016, and through April 2017, the state collected about $1 million.


■  Imposes a flat 15 percent pot tax and its 7.5 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana while jurisdictions can level additional taxes with the approval of the voters. Some are as high as 18 percent.

■  Medical marijuana is exempt from the sales tax, but not the 15 percent pot tax.

■  Legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, but tax revenues won’t come in until 2018


■  Recreational marijuana is taxed at 2.9 percent with a special 10 percent sales tax.

■  Medical marijuana is taxed at 2.9 percent, but is exempt from the 10 percent rate.


■  Legalized in 2012 and has brought in about $240 million in revenue.


■  Recreational marijuana taxed at 5.5 percent with edibles at 8 percent.

■  Medical marijuana is exempt.

■  Legalized in Jan. 2017, but sales won’t start until 2018.


■  Recreational marijuana has a 4.6 percent sales tax and an additional 2 percent excise tax.

■  Medical marijuana is taxed at the same rate.

■  Legalized in Nov. 2016 and sales are expected to start this year.


■  Recreational marijuana is taxed at 17 percent with municipalities having the option to add up to an additional 3 percent.

■  Medical marijuana is not exempt.

■  Legalized in 2014 and about $60 million in revenue by Jan. 2017.


■  Recreational marijuana is taxed at 37 percent.

■  Medicial marijuana is not exempt.

■  Legalized in 2012 and is expected to bring in $730 million by 2019.

Andrew Grant can be reached at