Leading New York Democrats are trying to change the cannabis tax

Two influential New York lawmakers are attempting to overhaul the state’s tax structure for the sale of adult-use cannabis, which they say is currently overly complicated.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the State Assembly Majority Leader, and State Senator Jeremy Cooney, both Democrats, announced Monday a proposal that would fundamentally change the way the Empire State taxes recreational cannabis sales.

As reported by NY1, under the proposed legislation, “the current tax, which is levied on the basis of potency, would be replaced with an increase in the current excise duty”. The outlet noted that “it was not immediately clear what the tax implications of the change would be if finally approved.”

“After careful consideration, it became clear that we needed to simplify the tax structure of cannabis for adult use,” said People-Stokes, as quoted by NY1. “As the state continues to expand licensed cannabis operations, a simpler tax structure will be better for businesses and consumers. It is imperative to establish the licensed cannabis market as the best option for consumers and to stamp out the illegal cannabis businesses that are popping up across the state. This new tax approach will ultimately lead to thriving cannabis companies at all levels of the supply chain. We will see higher tax revenues, which will result in more funds being reinvested in communities and reinvested in education and other important programs.”

Cooney echoed this, saying that if New York is to achieve its “goal of building the nation’s most diverse and inclusive cannabis market, we must create an environment where small businesses can thrive.”

“Replacing the potency tax with an excise tax increase will allow licensed operators, including social justice operators, to sell products at competitive prices and be less vulnerable to undercutting by illicit market prices without sacrificing revenue that can be reinvested and valuable Community programs can be used,” Cooney said.

According to an official legislative summary of the bill, the measure “increases the tax from nine to sixteen percent of the amount levied on the sale or transfer of adult-use cannabis products to a retail customer; removes requirements that records reflect total THC content of cannabis products for adult use sold to or manufactured by persons selling such products; takes appropriate precautions.”

Peoples-Stokes was heavily involved in efforts to legalize marijuana in New York, which officially lifted the ban on recreational marijuana use in 2021.

Last year, after the state approved the first 52 cultivation licenses for the new recreational cannabis program, Peoples-Stokes said the state was on track to “realize our goal of creating a viable and inclusive path for minority and smallholder farmers to have an opportunity.” to create generational wealth for their families and communities.”

Her new tax proposal comes at a time when the state is trying to expand its nascent cannabis program.

Last week, regulators in New York announced they were doubling the number of cannabis retailer licenses from an original 150 to 300.

“With this expansion, more entrepreneurs will be able to participate in the first wave of this industry, allowing them to capitalize on the growing demand for cannabis products,” Tremaine Wright, chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board, said at the time. “As more companies enter this market, innovation and competition will increase, resulting in better-quality experiences for consumers. The expansion of the New York cannabis market will benefit everyone involved in this exciting industry.”

According to NY1, the new Peoples-Stokes and Cooney tax measure “is being proposed as New York City lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul negotiate a broader $227 billion budget plan, expected to be completed by April 1, the start of New York’s financial system.” , goodbye year.”

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