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Hawaii medical marijuana dispensaries may have tax loophole

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2012

    In this Nov. 7, 2012 file photo, medical marijuana is packaged for sale in 1-gram packages at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle.

A Hawaii lawmaker says the state may have unintentionally created a tax loophole when it wrote the rules for its new medical marijuana dispensaries system.

The Hawaii Legislature passed a law this year to create a system of dispensaries 15 years after the drug was legalized for medical purposes.

But state Rep. Della Au Bellati says the way the law is written, dispensaries may be able to set up in special zones that are eligible for tax breaks. She says the Legislature didn’t intend to give tax breaks to dispensaries.

An official from the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism says dispensaries may be eligible to apply for the tax breaks.

Bellati says the state needs the tax revenues to fund oversight and regulation of the industry.

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  • Are they talking about tax breaks for the dispensaries or the PATIENTS? Actually, there shouldn’tr be a tax on either. Medical marijuana shouldn’t be considered a money maker for the State. Do they have to tax everything? I don’t pay taxes on other prescription drugs. The State just thinks MM is a joke!

  • The Hawaii Legislature and this “newspaper” needs to get it that medical marijuana is not recreational marijuana. Recreational marijuana, when it is legalized, should be taxed. Medical marijuana is a medicine and its’ consumption should have the same tax status as all other prescription medicines in Hawaii.

  • So if it’s “medical” marijuana and thus prescribed, why is anyone paying any taxes on the sale and purchase of it? No other prescription drugs are taxed.

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