NEW YORK — As marijuana legalization spreads across U.S. states, so does a debate over whether to set pot policy by potency. Potency taxes have an upside for states: more stable revenue than sales taxes, says Carl Davis of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a progressive think tank. She worries they’ll lose out if THC taxes drive customers to underground dealers or to big, multistate firms that may be able to trim prices. Nationally, the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Caucus on International Narcotics Control suggested last month that federal health agencies study whether pot potency should be limited. But recreational pot taxes depend partly on THC content in Illinois and New York.
NEW YORK — As marijuana legalization spreads across U.S. states, so does a debate over whether to set pot policy by potency.
Under a law signed last month, New York will tax recreational marijuana based on its amount of THC, the main intoxicating chemical in cannabis. Illinois imposed a potency-related tax when recreational pot sales began last year. Vermont is limiting THC content when its legal market opens as soon as next year, and limits or taxes have been broached in some other states and the U.S. Senate’s drug-control caucus.
Supporters say such measures will protect public health by roping off, or at least discouraging, what they view...
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