Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2018

Sales and Use Tax Annotations

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425.0000 PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES—Regulation 1591

Annotation 425.0410


425.0410 Herbs and Supplements. A licensed acupuncturist in the state of California, with a doctorate in oriental medicine, is considered a primary health care practitioner in the state of California. The acupuncturist dispenses herbs and supplements to patients.

The Legislature, in adopting the language in section 6369(a)(1) Revenue and Taxation Code chose to adopt the limiting definition of "prescription" found in section 4036 of the Business and Professional Code rather than the broader interpretation implicit in section 4937 Business and Professional Code. The reference in Revenue and Taxation Code section 6369(a)(1) to "person authorized to prescribe medicine" means that person must be a physician, dentist, or podiatrist. Unless the acupuncturist is also licensed as one of these entities, his/her prescriptions are not exempted from the sales and use taxes as being within the prescription medicine exemption. In addition, the prescription must be filled by "a registered pharmacist in accordance with the law."

Since the sales are made for medicinal purposes, the herb and supplement sales also do not qualify under the food product exemption. 12/31/91.