Medical Cannabis Generates More than $100 Million in Sales Tax

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MMJ = TAX REVENUE
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—– Original Message —–
From: "Lifevine" <Lifevine@Hemp.net>
To: <hemp-talk@hemp.net>
Cc: <mmjlist@cannabismd.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 7:34 PM
Subject: [mmjlist] Fw: Medical Cannabis Generates More than $100 Million in
Sales Tax

>
> Subject: Medical Cannabis Generates More than $100 Million in Sales Tax
>
>
> Medical Cannabis Generates More than $100 Million in Sales Tax
>
> On Tuesday, March 18, medical cannabis advocates and dispensary operators
> from around California went to the state capital to testify about the
> sales tax medical cannabis generates. The group urged the Board of
> Equalization (BOE) to help protect an important source of revenue for the
> state-$100 million in sales tax collected annually by medical marijuana
> dispensaries.
> ASA’s Chief of Staff Rebecca Saltzman testified first. She told the BOE
> that the tax revenue the state receives from licensed medical cannabis
> dispensaries is in danger, due to increased federal interference in the
> state medical marijuana program.
>
> "The sales tax collected by medical marijuana dispensaries in one year
> could fund the construction of two large schools or 2,000 elementary and
> high school teachers," said ASA Chief of Staff Rebecca Saltzman. "By
> robbing California of this much needed revenue, the federal government is
> not only harming thousands of patients that rely on this medicine, it is
> also impeding the state’s ability to fund critical aspects of its
> infrastructure."
>
> Others who testified included Dale Geiringer, Ph.D., the head of
> California NORML, who outlined the millions of dollars of tax revenue
> dispensaries produce for the BOE, and several dispensary operators and
> former operators from Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, San Francisco,
> Sacramento and Santa Cruz, who all testified to their problems with the
> DEA.
> Among those dispensary operators was Lisa Sawoya, the tax-paying former
> director of Hollywood Compassionate Care in Los Angeles, who was forced to
> close her dispensary because the DEA intimidated her landlord by
> threatening to seize the property. Her collective still suffered a raid at
> the hands of the DEA, even though her landlord had notified the DEA that
> the dispensary was closing in a matter of days.
>
> Bill Pearce, former director of River City Patients’ Center in Sacramento,
> described the $700,000 he had paid to the BOE over the past three years,
> as well as a quarter of a million to the IRS and Franchise Tax Board. The
> DEA shut him down in September.
>
> All those testifying urged the BOE to do everything possible to help
> protect safe access and state tax revenues. ASA’s Rebecca Saltzman also
> pointed out that the DEA would soon face oversight hearings before
> Congress on their tactics, and State Senator Carole Migden is introducing
> a resolution calling for an end to federal interference and urging
> Congress and the President to establish policy consistent with the
> compassionate use laws of California.
>
> In 2007 alone, the DEA raided more than 50 medical marijuana providers,
> and they embarked on a new strategy, sending more than 300 letters to
> landlords of dispensaries, threatening property owners with criminal
> prosecution and asset forfeiture.
>
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