Rhode Island wants to tax homegrown marijuana plants

Emily Gray Brosious

Rhode Island wants to tax home marijuana plants(Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to levee a $150 tax on medical marijuana patients who grow their own plants at home, according to a Providence Journal report.

Caregivers, who are allowed to cultivate plants for up to five patients at home, would be required to pay a cultivation tax of $350.

For their money, medical marijuana home growers would get a plant tag from the state to identify their cannabis plants as legal.

Raimondo’s proposed 2017 state budget suggests the state could take in an additional $8.4 million in home marijuana cultivation taxes if such plant tags are mandated.

However, $1.2 million of that new tax revenue would be spent on setting up a software system for tagging and tracking homegrown pot plants, as reported by Marijuana.com.

Officials say the tags will play an important role for law enforcement officials working to prevent medical marijuana abuses.

Per the Providence Journal:

“The goal of the reforms is to ensure that medical marijuana patients maintain access to treatment while minimizing access among those who illegally use and sell marijuana,” according to a news release.

But some medical marijuana advocates see the new taxes as a real setback for patient access.

“I believe this proposal is unique and that no other state levies expensive per plant fees on cannabis grown by patients,” Karen O’Keefe, director of states policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told Marijuana.com.

Raimondo’s administration says the tax is relatively small compared to the $17,000 worth of medical cannabis a plant can produce in a year.

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