Thursday, November 12, 2020
Benjamin M. Leff (American) presents Cannabis Taxation: Theory and Practice at the Virtual Boston University Law Review Conference today on Marijuana Law 2020: Lessons from the Past, Ideas for the Future:
My goal in my presentation is to make two primary points: (1) In designing a tax instrument to tax cannabis at the state level, it is misguided to get distracted by any theory of Pigouvian taxes, since the most important market substitute for legal cannabis is illegal cannabis, and so (except for some special cases) taxation of legal cannabis is not Pigouvian. (2) In designing a tax instrument to tax cannabis at the federal level, the most important issue is the degree to which any federal tax crowds out state-level taxation, not the purported incoherence (or injustice?) of section 280E. In fact, section 280E has some plausible benefits as compared to federal excise taxes.
See the full schedule and program here.