Assembly Bill 70, which will allow the state Department of Taxation to collect excise taxes on the sale of medical marijuana, was heard by the Assembly Taxation Committee without opposition. The bill essentially “cleaned up” some of the legal language needed for the collection of the tax previously established in the late 2013 session that authorized licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, the Review-Journal reports.
Seventy-five percent of the tax revenue collected will go directly to Nevada public schools – a system badly in need of additional outside funding sources – and the other twenty-five percent will be used by the state to operate the medical marijuana program.
Estimates of Nevada’s medical marijuana program put the amount collected in excise taxes around $10 million over the next two years, but that figure doesn’t account for medical marijuana tourists from other states purchasing from Nevada dispensaries with their state-issued medical marijuana cards (the number is also based on several other “guesstimates,” including the number of Nevada cardholders and frequency and dollar amount of medical marijuana purchases).
Nevada’s neighboring states that currently issue medical marijuana cards – California, Oregon, and Arizona – have a collective total of about 200,000 cardholders, with Utah moving steadily forward with medical marijuana legislation of its own. Nevada currently has about 8,600 cardholders, the majority – roughly 6,200 – in Clark County. That number could potentially grow to 25,000-30,000 in Clark County alone.
No Nevada dispensaries are open yet as those granted licenses navigate local government zoning processes.