As public opinion increasingly favors the legalization of recreational marijuana, a growing number of states must determine how to tax legal sales of cannabis.
To date, nine states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, but only eight of these jurisdictions have legal markets. The table below highlights the states that have implemented legal markets and levy taxes on recreational marijuana.
Of the states with legal markets, Alaska is the only state that does not impose some form of sales tax on end-users. In each of the other states, taxes levied on the sale of marijuana far exceed the general sales tax rate levied by that state:
- In Alaska, which has no states sales tax, marijuana growers pay a tax of $50 per ounce when selling the product to marijuana dispensaries or retailers. While the cost of taxes paid is passed on to customers in the form of higher prices, end-users do not pay a sales tax when purchasing marijuana.
- In California, cultivators pay a per ounce of product tax at a rate of $9.25 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves.