Colorado regulators have begun surveying marijuana businesses about the price of pot in an effort to implement a new excise tax that voters passed earlier this month.
The tax places a 15 percent levy on the wholesale price of recreational marijuana when it moves between the grower and the seller.
The challenge, though, is that Colorado's forthcoming recreational marijuana industry won't have a true wholesale market for at least the first nine months. Instead, marijuana businesses must initially grow almost everything they sell — meaning the wholesale transactions that will be subject to the excise tax are really just pot transfers between two parts of the same business in which no money is exchanged. Businesses are allowed only a small number of transactions in which they can buy marijuana grown by another business.
To still collect tax on in-house transfers, Colorado regulators will determine an "average market rate" that will apply to all grower-to-seller transfers.
"It's really difficult to figure out what that's going to be," said Meg Collins, the director of the Cannabis Business Alliance, a marijuana trade group.
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