Individuals planning to sell cannabis or cannabis products starting Jan. 1 must obtain two permits from the state, one of them necessary to pay two cannabis taxes going into effect Jan. 1.

Sellers must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration for a cannabis seller’s permit and a cannabis tax permit, both of which can be applied for online, a department spokesman said.

Cannabis cultivators, processors, manufacturers, retailers, microbusinesses and distributors who make sales must obtain a seller’s permit as a prerequisite to applying for a license with the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, Department of Food and Agriculture or Department of Public Health, the spokesman said.

Those who already have a seller’s permit, including those previously issued by the State Board of Equalization, do not need to register for a new one.

Seller’s permits can be applied for online at www.cdtfa.ca.gov/taxes-and-fees/faqseller.htm.

Cannabis and cannabis products sellers also must register with the department to obtain a separate cannabis tax permit, which is required to report and pay the two new cannabis taxes.

Registration will start Nov. 20 for the new taxes:

• A 15-percent excise tax imposed on buyers of cannabis and cannabis products that will be collected by retailers and paid to their cannabis distributors; and,

• A tax on cannabis entering the commercial market that’s imposed on cultivators, who must pay it to either their distributor or manufacturer, depending on the nature of the transaction.

The rates for the cultivation tax are $9.25 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flowers and $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves.

Those who operate cannabis businesses that do not make taxable sales must obtain a certification letter from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration verifying a seller’s permit is not required, the spokesman said.

Certification letters will be available through the online registration system at https://services.cdtfa.ca.gov/ereg/index.boe starting Nov. 20.

Individuals who want to receive notifications of the latest information for complying with new cannabis business tax laws can sign up at www.cdtfa.ca.gov/subscribe/cannabis.aspx.

More information about cannabis taxes is available at www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/l510.pdf and www.taxes.ca.gov/.

Those who need specific help with cannabis or other state taxes — except property, alcoholic beverage and insurance taxes — can call the Department of Tax and Fee Administration toll-free at 800-400-7115.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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