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The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Taxation of Marihuana


Before a

Subcommittee of the

Committee on Finance

United States Senate

Seventy-Fifth Congress

First Session



An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording.

July 12, 1937

Printed for the use of the Committee on Finance


Committee on Finance

Pat Harrison, Mississippi, Chairman

William H. King, Utah

Walter F. George, Georgia

David I. Walsh, Massachussetts

Alben W. Barkley, Kentucky

Tom Connally, Texas

Josiah W. Bailey, North Carolina

Bennett Champ Clark, Missouri

Harry Flood Bird, Virginia

Augustine Lonergan, Connecticut

Hugo L. Black, Alabama

Peter G. Gerry, Rhode Island

Joseph F. Guffey, Pennsylvania

Robert J. Bulkley, Ohio

Prentiss M. Brown, Michigan

Clyde L. Herring, Iowa

Robert M. La Follette, Jr., Wisconsin

Arthur Capper, Kansas

Arthur H. Vandenberg, Michigan

James G. Townsend, Jr., Delaware

James J. Davis, Pennsylvania

Felton M. Johnston, Clerk



Statements of ----

Anslinger, H. J., Commissioner of Narcotics, Treasury Department

Hester, C. M. Assistant General Counsel, Treasury Department

Johnson, Royal G., Washington, D.C. representing Chempsco, Inc., Winoma, Minn, and Hemp Chemical Corporation, Mankato, Minn.

Moksnes, M.G., Danville, Ill., Representing the Amhempco Corporation

Rens, Matt, Brandon, Wis., Representing the Rens Hemp Co.

Woodward, Dr. W. C., American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill., letter from


Taxation of Marihuana

Monday, July 12, 1937

United States Senate

Subcommittee of the Committee on Finance

Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call at 10 a.m. in the Senate Finance
Committee room, Senate Office Building, Senator Prentiss M. Brown presiding.

Present: Senator Brown (chairman), Herring, and Davis.

(The subcommittee had under consideration H.R. 6906, which is as follows:

H.R. 6906

An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording.

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled.

(a) The term "person" means an individual, a partnership, trust, association, company or corporation, and includes an officer or employee of a trust, association, company, or corporation, or a member or employee of a partnership, who as such officer, employee, or member, is under any duty to perform an act in respect of any violation of this act occurs.

(b) The term "marihuana" means all parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant; its seeds, or resin; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

(c) The term "producer" means any person who (1) plants, cultivates, or in any way facilitates the natural growth of marihuana or (2) who harvests and transfers or makes use of marihuana.

(d) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Treasury and the term "collector" means a collector of Internal Revenue.

(e) The term "transfer" or "transferred" means any type of disposition resulting in a change of possession but shall not include a transfer to a common carrier for the purpose of transporting marihuana.

Sec. 2 (a) Every person who imports, manufactures, produces, compounds, sells, deals in, dispenses, prescribes, administers, or gives away marihuana shall (1) within 15 days of the effective date of this act, or (2) before engaging after the expiration of such fifteen-day period in any of the above-mentioned activities, and thereafter on July 1 of each year, pay the following special taxes, respectively:



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