New York State Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester) announced on Thursday that he introduced a bill calling for the removal of taxes on medical marijuana, especially in view of the fact that insurance does not cover it and people need it.
“Studies show medical cannabis relieves pain and helps decrease reliance on prescription pain medications, yet we subject patients to additional taxes,” Cooney said when he announced the bill.
New York state charges a seven percent tax on medical marijuana (MMJ) products. Cooney’s bill seeks to repeal the MMJ excise tax. In 2022, the tax generated a total of nearly $13 million.
Advocates of the bill say the legislation will not only help when it comes to enrollment for the medical cannabis program, but it will also help thousands of New Yorkers afford the treatment.
“They can’t use their insurance to pay for this…we need to remove this financial burden for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” Cooney said.
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes is backing the bill, stating the current tax structure undermines the growing businesses in the cannabis industry.
“I don’t think we should be charging more taxes for THC potency,” Peoples-Stokes said.
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