Phoenix looks to tax medical-marijuana industry $50 million per year to fund public safety; city singling out industry, says Evan Bolick, Rose Law Group Litigator

By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic

Phoenix is considering a massive tax on the medical-marijuana industry that could generate $40-50 million per year for the police and fire departments.

The tax, which would be charged to companies based on the size of each of their dispensary and cultivation sites, could cost some medical-marijuana distributors more than $1 million per year.

It would be the first tax of its kind in Arizona.

“We are desperate for money,” Mayor Thelda Williams said. “I’m not about to touch food tax, sales tax or property tax, so I need a whole new source.”


“The proposed tax appears to be an old-fashioned attempt at raising revenue by singling out an industry it views as unpopular with the public and unfairly squeezing them for revenue. The City somewhat brazenly admits that they have turned to the medical marijuana industry because they do not want to rile voters by turning to any other potential funding source. Rather than generating revenue, the City’s plan is more likely to shut down many of the dispensaries within its limits while making it far more difficult and costly for patients to exercise their voter-recognized right to access medical marijuana.”

~Evan Bolick