New Mexico: Supreme Court Rules Against Imposition of Certain Excise Taxes on Medical Cannabis Products

Marijuana Justice

Justices on the New Mexico Supreme Court have determined that medical cannabis products, like conventional prescription medicines, should not be subject to gross receipts taxes.

The Court’s ruling upholds a lower court decision barring the collection of certain excise taxes on medical cannabis products. In that decision, justices opined: “[T]he Compassionate Use Act was intended to make medical marijuana accessible to those with debilitating medical conditions who might benefit from the use thereof. It is reasonably self-evident that the deduction from gross receipts for prescription drugs was similarly intended to make medical treatment more accessible, by lessening the expense to those who require it. These statutes should be read harmoniously, to give effect to their commonality of purpose.”

Commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision, NORML’s State Policies Manager Jax James said: “It is encouraging to see the Court take the position that medical cannabis ought to be tax exempt in a manner like other medications. Patients, many of whom may be on disability or a fixed income, should not been seen by lawmakers as a source of tax revenue.”

It had been estimated that gross receipts taxes on medical cannabis sales added roughly five percent and nine percent to patients’ transactions.

Last year, regulators ceased imposing sales taxes on the purchase of limited quantities of medical cannabis products.

The majority of states that regulate medical cannabis access do not impose taxes on patients’ purchases of cannabis products.

On April 1, licensed dispensaries in New Mexico are to begin selling marijuana products to anyone over the age of 21.