Can medical marijuana save Michigan girl?
Detroit’s 62 medical marijuana dispensaries can get a reprieve and continue to operate after Feb. 15, 2018 despite continuing confusion and uncertainty over the city’s medical cannabis ordinances.(Photo: Mathew Sumner, AP)
There is good news and bad news for the fledgling marijuana industry in Michigan.
The good news first: The federal budget passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday includes language that continues the policy that the federal government shouldn’t use resources to enforce federal drug laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
The bad news: The state Department of Treasury sent out a bulletin earlier this year that it expects medical marijuana card holders to pay a 6% tax whether they purchase the product from a dispensary operating with a state-issued license or from a caregiver operating under the old law that was approved by voters in 2008.
This is a departure for patients who will continue to use a caregiver — a person certified to grow 12 plants for each of five patients, say medical marijuana cardholders. They haven’t paid taxes on the products they’ve purchased since the old medical marijuana law was passed.
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But it will be an honor system for those patients because they’ll have to claim what they’ve purchased on their annual state tax returns as a use tax. Cardholders who use dispensaries will pay a 6% sales tax — along with a 3% excise tax — when they purchase the product at a dispensary.
Marijuana advocates are calling it the “patient tax.”