Last Tuesday, the Haines Borough Assembly referred the excise tax on marijuana cultivation facilities back to the finance committee for the second time. The committee will consider changing the excise tax to levy it on suppliers, and as a special sales tax to be approved by voters.

Currently, the excise tax puts cultivation facilities in Haines at a disadvantage by taxing them an additional $5 per ounce. Borough manager Debra Schnabel agreed with sending the ordinance back to committee, stating there’s no rush on collecting the tax since local cultivation facilities haven’t yet produced. Schnabel also clarified to the assembly what they are sending the ordinance back to the committee for.

“I agree you want to eliminate the excise tax on cultivation facilities, but you want to levy the excise tax on the supply of marijuana in the Haines Borough, so that would be an excise tax on product collected by the retailer who brings marijuana into the community or who purchases it from other buyers in the community,” she said.

Assembly member Tom Morphet added that he’d like to see a special tax, in lieu of the excise tax, be brought to the Haines community. “That leaves it to voters if they want to pay extra for their pot or not,” he said. “We got kind of raked over the coals for adopting a cigarette tax without going to voters, so I’d like the [special] sales tax option be included for consideration at community level.”