Starting in 1996, California’s indigent and infirm could rely on the Compassionate Care Act for necessary medicine. In 2016, the arrival of REC — and its accompanying 38 percent tax rate — spelled the end of non-profits’ ability to give away cannabis to those in need.
A much-needed comeback for compassion care seems to be on the way.
Kaiser Health News
- Now, “the prices at dispensaries are out of reach if you need daily medicine, and the taxes are about to go up again,” said PTSD sufferer Richard Manning. “So the black market is where a lot of veterans and low-income people turn.”
- Signed in October by Gov. Newsom, SB-34 will remove the cultivation, retail and excise taxes on cannabis donated through compassionate care programs.
- Groups that have donated cannabis in the past are uncertain whether the old networks can be brought back. “It’s a little bit hard to see right now,” according to Lindsey Friedman, who runs Jetty Extracts‘ Shelter Project, an Inglewood-based charitable cannabis enterprise. “It’s a weird, gray area,” Friedman said.