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GOP-led bill would do away with tax on medicinal weed

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As the state ramps up its medicinal marijuana program, a Republican lawmaker wants to eliminate taxes on the product entirely.

Under Assembly Bill 4571, sponsored by Assemblyman John DiMaio, R-23rd District, the state would exempt any medical marijuana transactions from its 6.625 percent sales tax.

“The patients who are prescribed medical marijuana will incur the full cost since medical marijuana is federally prohibited from being insured,” reads the legislation. “The bill’s intent is to help patients who are suffering from a chronic and debilitating disease afford their prescribed medication by removing the burden of taxation."

A4571 would take effect immediately, according to the legislation.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, said in a live radio program in September that he wants to gradually phase out the tax on medical marijuana, eventually eliminating the tax altogether.

The state’s 2019 budget calls for $20 million in revenue from the expansion of the state’s existing medical marijuana program.

Since Gov. Phil Murphy took office in January, the program has seen 16,000 new patients sign up, bringing the total count to 33,200, according to the state Department of Health.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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