Connecticut Marijuana and Controlled Substance Tax
State of Connecticut
Department of Revenue Services
Effective October 1, 1991, the Connecticut General Assembly imposed a tax on the purchase, acquisition, transportation or importation into Connecticut of marijuana or controlled substances in violation of Connecticut law. This publication is intended to provide general information to law enforcement agencies concerning the marijuana and controlled substances tax imposed by Conn Gen. Stat. §12-651 and to explain procedures for referring tax delinquency cases to the Department of Revenue Services.
Q. On whom is this tax imposed?
A. The Connecticut Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax is imposed upon any dealer who acquires or is in possession of marijuana or controlled substances. "Dealer" means any person who, in violation of any provision of Connecticut law, manufactures, produces, ships, transports or imports into the state or in any manner acquires or possesses:
- more than 42.5 grams of marijuana; or
- 7 or more grams of any controlled substance that is sold by weight; or
- 10 or more dosage units of any controlled substance that is not sold by weight.
Q. Does this tax apply to someone who is in lawful possession of marijuana or a controlled substance?
A. No. Individuals who lawfully possess these drugs, such as by prescription, are not subject to the tax.
Q. What is the tax rate?
A. The tax depends on the drug type:
- Marijuana is taxed at $3.50 per gram or portion thereof;
- Controlled substances sold by weight are taxed at $200.00 per gram or portion thereof;
- Controlled substances in tablet or capsule form are taxed at $2,000.00 for each 50 dosage unit or portion thereof.
Q. What is proof of payment of the tax?
A. All illicit drugs must have Connecticut tax stamps permanently affixed. The stamps come in two styles and have a unique six digit serial number. The green marijuana stamps are available in denominations of $10.00 and $500.00. The red controlled substances stamps are available in denominations of $200.00 and $10,000.00. The stamps can be purchased from the Department of Revenue Services upon payment of their full face value and may be used only once.
Q. Who may refer drug tax cases to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS)?
A. Any law enforcement or criminal justice agency, including municipal police departments, the State Police, courts and federal agencies, may refer suspected cases of tax delinquency to DRS.
Q. May a referral to DRS be made while a criminal case is pending against the dealer?
A. Yes. The assessment and collection of the tax is a civil matter that is separate from the criminal for sale or possession. DRS can proceed immediately and may be successful even if the criminal case does not end with a conviction.
Q. What is the procedure for referring a case to DRS?
A. DRS has provided referral forms to most law enforcement agencies. A sample referral form is attached to this publication.
Q. What happens after a case is referred to DRS?
A. DRS's Special Investigation Section (SIS) will conduct an investigation and take appropriate action to collect the tax due.
Q. Does DRS arrest violators?
A. No. Any law enforcement officer with arrest authority for state crimes can arrest someone for possession of untaxed marijuana or controlled substances. The offense is a violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-652 and 12-660.
Q. Why should cases be referred to DRS?
A. Connecticut spends a large amount of money combatting the consequences of the sale and use of illicit drugs. The Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax allows the state to recover some of the costs associated with the illegal use of drugs.
Q. Will referring law enforcement agencies share in any recovered funds?
A. Not directly. All revenue goes into the State's general fund, thereby reducing everyone's tax burden.
Q. If a drug enforcement agency plans to use the state or federal drug asset forfeiture program, will it be in competition for these funds with DRS?
A. DRS will not compete for assets subject to existing drug asset forfeiture programs. The Connecticut Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax is designed to reach assets that would normally not be eligible for forfeiture.
Q. Does evidence of payment of this tax make it legal to possess or sell illicit drugs?
A. No. Evidence that a person has complied with the Marijuana and Controlled Substance Tax does not legalize the sale or possession of illicit drugs. Other state and federal laws prohibiting sale and possession of illicit drugs still apply.