Carson City, Nev. – One day ahead of Legislature’s final deadline, Nevada lawmakers finalized Senate Bill 487 regulating the taxation of the sale and cultivation of recreational cannabis.
The approved SB487, with a vote of 32 – 9, was sent to Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday, June 5, 2017, a day before the closing of legislation in Nevada. All the “No” votes were casted by Republicans. The governor is expected to sign the bill into a law.
The current taxation structure for medical marijuana is at 2 percent for selling, 2 percent for production, and 2 percent for cultivation in Nevada. The approved legislation raises this figure to 10 percent tax for marijuana retail sales. Also, marijuana growers and wholesalers are to be taxed at 15 percent.
The bulk of the state tax revenue projection of $120 million for over the next two years will be directed towards education. Some portion will go to the licensing cost the government will accrue with the legalization of cannabis. The excise tax from recreational marijuana will particularly raise approximately $70 million.
Specifically, tax collected from cultivation will be allocated for schools while sales tax for recreational marijuana will be directed towards the rainy day fund of the state of Nevada.
Special regulations are being formed by the Nevada Department of Taxation to regulate the sales of recreational marijuana from medical retailers starting July 1. The recreational marijuana program of the state will commence on this date. By January 1, 2018, the permanent taxation structure will be implemented in the entire state of Nevada. Medical marijuana is currently under the supervision of state health officials.
The Assembly also gave final approval to Senate Bill 344 regulating the labeling and packaging of marijuana. This stipulates that the labels and packaging should state “keep out of reach of children,” and “this is a marijuana product.”
The legislation also forbids using labels or packaging that would entice children such as action figures, mascots, or cartoon characters as marketing strategies. It also states that marijuana products should not look like ice cream, lollipops, or candies. SB422 prohibits marijuana vending machines.
Other amendments in the bill include dosage limitation wherein majority of the packages should not have more than 800 milligrams. Also, medical marijuana users will not be paying the same sales tax to that of retail cannabis sales. Medical patients will pay local, state, and other taxes as required for purchasing medicine.
Moreover, cannabis labels should indicate caution for pregnant women and for consumers to wait for four hours to take effect if they are using edible marijuana products. The reason for this is that edibles take more time to take effect and are considered more potent.
The mentioned senate bills approved by Nevada lawmakers lay the structure of the recreational cannabis program to identify the revenue allocation, safety precautions, and marketing limitations. The increase of retail and wholesale tax of marijuana will garner more funds for the state of Nevada towards development. How do you think these senate bills on recreational marijuana affect you?