Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Revenue conference prices sales tax exemption for medical marijuana

in Statewide by

Legislation that would exempt medical marijuana from sales taxes would cost $24.3 million per year to Florida’s tax receipts, according to an estimate by state economists Friday.

HB 1397, by Fort Myers Republican Ray Rodrigues, is one of five medical marijuana bills to enact Amendment 2 that are circulating in the Legislature.

It would impose a number of restrictions on marijuana use — no smoking, vaping, or edibles, for example, although a terminally ill patient could vape.

The bill would take effect upon becoming law, and the state Revenue Estimating Conference concluded the state would have collected around $400,000 in pot taxes by that time.

As more people become eligible to use marijuana to treat medical conditions, the cost to state revenues would hike up to $24.3 million by 2021.

The Legislature could not use the money in the meantime to fund ongoing programs, although it would be available for one-time use each year, said Amy Baker, director of the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

The conference dropped plans to calculate the effect of House legislation on pari-mutuel, card room, and Seminole Indian gambling. The House is taking a less permissive approach to gambling than the Senate is.

“It just means they weren’t ready for us to meet on it yet,” Baker said.

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.

Latest from Statewide

Go to Top