A New Tax On Marijuana Plants?

Feb 2, 2016

Medical marijuana on display at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, RI.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

 State officials want to make some changes to the state’s medical marijuana program. Under the governor’s proposed budget, a new tax on marijuana plants would bring in some revenue.

Right now, medical marijuana patients can buy marijuana from compassion centers, caregivers, or grow it themselves. None of that would change. But under the proposed rule, anyone who grows medical marijuana would have to buy a tag for every plant.

For large-scale cultivators and small scale caregivers, that amounts to a $350-dollar tax per plant. For patients who grow their own plants, the state would charge $150 dollars a tag.

State officials say the tags are meant to help law enforcement identify authorized growers and would fund marijuana safety testing. Medical marijuana patients and advocates say marijuana is already expensive and worry the new tax could decrease their access.