California Medical Cannabis Patients Eligible for Fee Reduction, But Still Face High Tax Rate

A state-backed medical marijuana identification card program, which hasn’t been popular among cannabis patients in recent years, may ramp up when California’s new marijuana laws take effect in January, some say, because the regulations allow cardholders to skip the sales tax when purchasing cannabis products.

Nevada County residents who already have current doctor’s recommendations for medical cannabis can apply for identification cards through the county’s Public Health Department, which processes the cards for the state.

After January, a medical cannabis patient will be able to receive a sales and use tax exemption when purchasing from a dispensary if they present their medical marijuana ID card and another valid form of government-issued identification at the time of a sale, according to California’s tax code.

A doctor’s recommendation, when presented on its own, will allow a patient to purchase medical cannabis, but won’t qualify them for a sales tax exemption.

Although the tax exemption doesn’t kick in until January, the voluntary ID card program isn’t new. It has, however, been relatively unsuccessful in attracting many cannabis patients.

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