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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey state officials announced Tuesday that medical marijuana will be subject to the state’s sales tax.
The Division of Taxation made the decision in keeping with the intent of the original medical marijuana legislation signed by Gov. Jon Corzine in 2010, according to State Treasury spokesman Andy Pratt.
The only medical marijuana dispensary approved by the state, Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, has been stalled in opening due to the tax question, the center’s owner said.
The potency of the marijuana dispensed for medicinal purposes will be regulated by the state, as prescribed by the law.
Marijuana advocates said the decision to tax medicinal pot seems like a penalty.
“Most over-the-counter medication in New Jersey is not taxed, so the idea that we’re going so far as to create taxes for medical marijuana is a little strange because patients haven’t had access to it yet,” Chris Goldstein with the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey told WCBS 880.
According to the Treasury Department, the sponsors of the legislation said it was their intention to tax the sale of medicinal marijuana.
“If legislators and the state division of taxation in New Jersey really want to regulate and tax marijuana, they better start looking at legalizing marijuana and dealing with the recreational side of things,” Goldstein told WCBS 880.
Greenleaf Compassion Center was issued a license by the state Department of Health in mid-October but it remains unclear when the dispensary may open.
New Jersey’s medical marijuana law passed nearly three years ago. Marijuana was legalized for patients with certain conditions days before Gov. Chris Christie took office in January 2010.
New Jersey is one of 16 states, along with the District of Columbia, that allows the use of medical marijuana.
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