California Cities Approve Marijuana Taxes, Reject Dispensary Bans

Californians may not be quite ready to legalize marijuana, but they're eager to tax it. Local ballot measures to tax medical marijuana (or recreational pot, if Prop 19 had passed) passed overwhelmingly in several Bay Area cities, while voters in two coastal cities rejected measures to ban dispensaries.

marijuana money talks
In Sacramento, voters approved a measure to tax medical marijuana businesses at 4% passed with 71% of the vote. In San Jose, a 10% marijuana tax was approved with 78% of the vote. In Oakland, a measure raising the marijuana tax from 1.8% to 5% passed with 70% of the vote.

In Berkeley, voters approved a 2.5% medical marijuana tax with 82% of the vote a measure to allow licensed gardens with 64% of the vote. Richmond approved a 5% medical marijuana tax with 78% of the vote, while Albany approved a pot business tax with 83% of the vote.

Outside the Bay Area, Stockton approved a 2.5% medical marijuana business tax with 66% of the vote, and 72% of Long Beach voters approved a tax on recreational pot sales. In the Los Angeles suburb of La Puente, voters approved separate measures to tax medical and recreational marijuana. In the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova, voters approved a measure requiring all marijuana grows to pay up to $600 per square foot for grows up to 25 square feet and approved a tax on recreational pot with 67% of the vote.

California NORML
called the Rancho Cordova grow tax "excessive," and Americans for Safe Access said it does not consider the passage of measures to tax medical marijuana "any sort of victory whatsoever." Increasing medical marijuana taxes is "absolutely unacceptable and will ultimately burden patients at the point of sale," the group said.

Measures to ban dispensaries failed in Santa Barbara, 39% to 61%, and in Morro Bay, 45% to 55%.

United States
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Rancho Cordova grow tax of $600/sq ft...

Outrageous... what's the yield on a sq ft anyway, maybe a quarter pound (four ounces)?  That would wholesale at maybe $1000 - $1200, so a $600/sq ft tax would be a tax of greater than 50%... outrageous...

What Other Medicines Are Taxed?

Is there state tax in CA on other prescription meds? I mean if my doctor prescribes Vicodin, do I pay taxes on that? I don't think so. So, why is medicinal cannabis use any different. I'm getting tired of being treated like a 2nd class citizen over this!



Not taxes for drug companies

Not taxes for drug companies meds. in my state. Taxing a med. is a slippery slope. What if cash strapped stated decided to tax all prescription drugs? This gives the tax man a foot in the door to go after everything for taxes.

Per foot tax?

Up to $600 per foot? You have got to be kidding me. That means a 25 square foot plot will cost $15,000 just in taxes. Damn taxman is going to make prices go up more than the illegal pot trade has it.

As someone on another board wrote

"Taxes are taking what someone else produced, against their will, under threat of force. It takes a certain amount of mental gymnastics to get around that fact, to try to pretend it’s something else."

Taxes are (legalized) theft by government, period, regardless of how they are used, how they are apportioned, or on what they are placed.  So called "necessary" government services (not everyone thinks most of those services are necessary) should be paid for by those who use them via user fees (as in gasoline taxes which are paid by those who use the roadways but not by those who don't, for one example and should rightly be named gasoline fees), and by those who willingly support them via donation, never by stealing them from those who do not benefit from those taxes "under threat of force". 

pot tax

How much tax money does Rancho Cordova charge its citizens for a home beer brew setup? Probably zero. That $600/sq.ft. tax is a joke. Good luck collecting it.

Attention California Prop 19 Sell Outs who voted yes!!!

Yes when they start to tax prescribe medications such as Vicoden or Oxy will talk again about those who voted to sell us out with PROP 19 to be legal and taxed on commercial use and the medical users your screwed while your caregiver has to prove he or she is a certified medical caregiver and the feds have your information now sorry sir or mam but I made it with your delivery after i was stopped 3 times in 30 miles?

The FEDS would have come to California in groves with their UNLIMITED resources and they would have wished that the never heard of prop 19. Like the Indians and the white man?

borden's picture

So what you're saying is...

So what you're saying is, keep marijuana illegal, to protect marijuana users and their providers from arrest. Right... Of course the feds would not have come to California in droves over Prop 19. They don't have "unlimited resources" to do that. US law enforcement is 90% local or county or state, and most of the federal resources are spoken for. Why do you think they didn't just shut down medical marijuana?

Heavily taxing medical

Heavily taxing medical marijuana is just going to turn cash strapped patients to illegal means. I fear that the government is making a choice of they think taxing medical marijuana is going to earn tax revenues and deter new users. This plan might backfire, and instead of cutting down marijuana use, it will introduce new avenues for illegal peddlers to introduce weed without regulation.

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