Voters to Decide on Marijuana Issues in California Cities

Voters to Decide on Marijuana Issues in California Cities

Voters in the cities of Pacifica and Cotati will decide whether to levy taxes on the gross receipts at cannabis dispensaries.

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November 7, 2017
SFGate
Legislation and regulation News State by State: California

A mellow off-year election could get an intriguing boost Tuesday when voters in two Bay Area cities consider marijuana taxation measures—but for those uninspired by ganja, local ballots also will feature rent control, an urban growth boundary and a school parcel tax.

Voters in the cities of Pacifica and Cotati will decide whether to levy taxes on the gross receipts at cannabis dispensaries. The measures, both called Measure G, would raise an estimated $360,000 in Pacifica and $300,000 in Cotati, but the new taxes would also likely jack up the price of cannabis for consumers.

RELATED: California to Tax Marijuana as Much as 45 Percent

The cannabis tax in Cotati has generated the most interest, though. The 7,500 residents of the suburb just south of Rohnert Park will decide whether to place a tax of up to 8 percent on the gross receipts of pot cultivators, or up to $25 per square foot of cultivation. The measure would also tax manufacturing, distribution and retail sales. That would mean Mercy Wellness of Cotati would have to implement an initial tax of 2 percent on sales, which would increase to 3 percent in three years.

The stakes may be higher in Pacifica, where the Cannabis Wellness Center on Palmetto Avenue has been operating without a license because none have been issued. The Marijuana Operations Tax would levy a 6 percent tax on the gross receipts at recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries, which the City Council would have the option to raise to 10 percent after two years.

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