The New Mexico Supreme Courtroom this week scheduled oral arguments for a case concerning medical hashish gross sales and gross receipts taxes.
Attorneys for the New Mexico Legal professional Common’s Workplace and two medical hashish companies can have a chance to make their respective arguments on Feb. 28 as as to whether or not medical hashish gross sales ought to have been exempt from gross receipts taxes previous to the state’s Hashish Regulation Act that went into impact final June.
The difficulty goes again a number of years to when medical hashish producer Sacred Backyard requested the state’s Taxation and Income Division for a refund of a number of years price of gross receipts taxes the corporate paid. Initially, a listening to officer dominated in favor of the state, however that ruling was ultimately reversed by the New Mexico Courtroom of Appeals. In February 2020, the state took the difficulty to the state supreme court docket, the place it has been pending since. In June 2021, medical hashish firm Extremely Well being joined the case as an amicus curiae, or good friend of the court docket.
In earlier court docket filings, Sacred Backyard and Extremely Well being argued that like pharmaceuticals, medical hashish ought to have all the time been exempt from the state’s gross receipts tax, which is usually incorrectly known as a gross sales tax. The state’s Legal professional Common’s Workplace, nevertheless, has argued in filings that using medical hashish is beneficial by a medical skilled, not prescribed like different medication. Due to this fact, the state has argued, medical hashish was not meant to be exempt from taxes till lawmakers explicitly added an exemption to the Hashish Regulation Act, which legalized recreational-use hashish.
In an interview with Growing Forward, the collaborative hashish podcast between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham mentioned that regardless of her view that “hashish is medication,” it is very important have the courts weigh in on the matter.
“That is an space the place readability guidelines as a result of in any other case, you might have a division that’s guessing based mostly on what they assume legislative intent is or isn’t,” Lujan Grisham mentioned, days after signing the Hashish Regulation Act. “You’d put a division able to be challenged for making arbitrary and capricious choices on a regular basis, as they have been guessing or taking the facet of the actual taxpayer.”
Since June 2021, medical hashish producers have been exempt from gross receipts taxes, however non-medical gross sales, that are anticipated to start out in April, might be charged a 12 % hashish excise tax along with gross receipts tax.