UPDATE: Anchorage Assembly rejects additional marijuana tax proposal

Published: Jun. 26, 2018 at 3:51 PM AKDT
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In an 8 to 2 vote, the Anchorage Assembly voted down a proposed 2 percent increase to the marijuana tax Tuesday night. Multiple marijuana business owners, workers, consumers, and concerned citizens argued that the tax would only bring more unnecessary burden for the legal marijuana market, and more benefits for dealers selling on the black market.

Original story:

Marijuana and marijuana products could soon become a bit pricier if a proposed tax increase is approved by members of the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday night. The proposal put forward by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz would raise the levy from 5 percent to 7 percent.

The current 5 percent tax on marijuana is projected to help the city roll up an additional $3.5 million. While a 2 percent increase might not sound like much, according to city documents it could bring an additional $1.4 million in sales tax revenue. The current average market price in Anchorage for a legally-sold gram of marijuana buds is about $18 per gram. The 2 percent increase in the tax rate would add about 36 cents per gram to the consumer's cost of buying legal marijuana buds.

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The maximum tax rate for pot and pot products can be no higher than 12 percent. Anchorage has not increased the tax rate for marijuana since it was approved in 2016.