Laura Bianchi, Rose Law Group partner, director Medical Cannabis Department talks to Leafly about Phoenix scrapping proposed cannabis tax

By Ben Adlin | Leafly

Phoenix patients can breathe a sigh of relief this week after a unanimous vote by the Phoenix City Council to scrap a proposal that would’ve imposed heavy taxes on medical cannabis.

The plan, floated last week by Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams, offered several possible tax options. Each was so steep that dispensary operators warned it could put licensed shops out of business.

One would’ve established a $280-per-square-foot tax on dispensaries and cultivation sites. Another would tax businesses based on their gross receipts from the past 12 months. And a third would’ve imposed a flat-rate registration tax of $920,000 per cultivation site and $560,000 per dispensary or consumption lounge.

But on Tuesday, facing backlash from businesses and patients who rely on medical cannabis, the City Council nixed the plan. Council members expressed surprise at how suddenly the proposal was introduced, with some even criticizing the mayor’s office.