Zero percent: That’s what purchasers of medical marijuana in New Jersey would pay in sales tax, under a bill sponsored by a Republican in the state Assembly.
“New Jersey’s medical marijuana is more expensive than almost every other state,” said Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Warren). “Patients should be able to afford it, just like any other prescription.” And he contends that the substance should be treated just like any other prescription for tax purposes. Currently, it is subject to the state’s 6.625 percent sales tax. With medical marijuana costing anywhere from $425 to $520 an ounce, that adds substantially to the overall cost. “No other prescriptions are taxed, and all the rest are covered by insurance,” DiMaio said. “If our goal is to make health care more affordable, then we should do something about it.”
The Assemblyman also framed his proposal in the context of larger arguments in the state over the balance between revenue and spending, charging that “The problem is nothing will be done immediately because Democrats need to tax wherever they can to support irresponsible spending, even if it’s at the expense of the sick people they claim to want to help.” (The latest state budget has penciled in an expected $20 million in tax revenue from the expansion of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.)