Maine slaps 7% tax on pot brownies sold to medical marijuana patients

November 4th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA, Maine — Baked or smoked? How patients use their medical marijuana determines their tax rate, according to a recent opinion from Maine Revenue Services.

After Mainers approved medical marijuana, lawmakers decided that marijuana sold for medicinal purposes would be subject to the 5 percent state sales tax. Now Maine Revenue Services has issued an opinion that prepared foods such as brownies that include medical marijuana will be taxed at the higher 7 percent rate. This has many questioning the ruling.

“It again shows how disconnected some people in the taxing department are from the general will of Maine people,” said Paul McCarrier, board member of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. He said medical marijuana is just what it says it is — a medicine — and should not be taxed at all.

McCarrier said for some individuals, eating foods that contain medical marijuana is the best way for them to use the medicine. He said smoking or using vaporizers does not work for everyone and patients should not have to pay an extra tax in order to use medicinal marijuana.

“Sometimes it is the best delivery method for people,” he said. “They can ingest it and it helps with their various pains and afflictions. For some people it is their only delivery means.”

In 2009, Mainers passed a referendum allowing medical marijuana dispensaries with nearly 60 percent of the vote. The bill was reworked by a task force named by then-Gov. John Baldacci and became law in 2010,

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