Citing consistency with federal law and 10 other states, Massachusetts State Senator Brian Joyce (D, Milton) has proposed a state-wide medical marijuana sales tax. Joyce’s request came in the form of an amendment to a substance abuse and prevention bill which passed through the Massachusetts senate on May 14. Sen. Joyce’s amendment to the bill, however, was ruled ineligible and he plans to file the motion to institute medical marijuana sales tax with the next state budget. Medical marijuana was decriminalized in Massachusetts in 2008 and legalized for medicinal purposes in 2012.
Medical Marijuana Sales Tax: Just or Unjust?
Of the 22 states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes (Colorado, Washington), 10 states have imposed a medical marijuana sales tax. Where the senator may run into pushback is this: Massachusetts state law exempts prescription drugs from the 6.25 percent sales tax. Joyce’s rationale is that medical marijuana does not fit the definition of a prescription drug. He believes over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and cold medicine are subject to sales tax and medical marijuana should be as well.
Sen. Joyce also claimed that a medical marijuana sales tax would bring in an estimated $60 million annually that could be earmarked for substance abuse prevention and counseling. He took a lashing in a recent Boston Herald column which accused him of taking advantage of sick, pain-ridden folks with ALS, MS, Crohn’s Disease and seizure disorders who turn to marijuana as relief from pain.
Medical Marijuana Merchant Accounts Still Few and Far Between
Many medical marijuana dispensaries, particularly in the recreational-use states of Colorado and Washington, are functioning as a strictly cash business – which is unsafe and tedious – and are in need of medical marijuana merchant accounts. Instabill recently announced it has credit card processing solutions for medical marijuana merchants. Though federal law still deems marijuana use illegal, Visa announced in a statement to a Colorado newspaper that the federal government will not challenge the state laws that legalize it.
Medical Marijuana Sales Tax Non-Existent with Instabill
Instabill is able to provide medical marijuana merchant accounts to licensed U.S. dispensaries because it utilizes an offshore banking partner to process credit card payments. Speak with a live representative at Instabill today at 1-800-318-2713.