A citizens panel that is helping to set rules for the marijuana industry in California has agreed to examine the impact of taxes that some growers and sellers have complained are too high.

The state Cannabis Advisory Committee, after lengthy debate, also decided Thursday to create a subcommittee to look into how legalized marijuana affects public health and young people.

[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section” curated_ids=””]Three weeks after the state began permitting medical and recreational marijuana firms, some 710 licenses have been issued by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control for distribution and sale, and 2,036 other applications are pending.

Some members of the panel voiced concern that high taxes may drive some buyers back to the illegal market. The state is charging a 15% excise tax on retail sales, and cultivation taxes including a $2.75 levy per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves. In addition, local sales taxes can go up to 8.5%.

Chairman Matt Rahn, mayor of Temecula, said the panel’s request for a briefing on taxation indicated that it is seen as a key to the success of the new licensing system.

“From my perspective, taxation is a fundamentally important component of the cannabis industry and has significant implications for all levels of that industry,” he said. “Our committee should understand the nuisances of how state and local taxation influences issues such as regulatory programs, public safety, and illicit markets.”

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