Medical marijuana may soon cost slightly more after voters in Long Beach voted in favor of Measure A, which allows the City Council to tax transactions on the drug, provided it allows dispensaries to set up within the city.
Unofficial data as of 2 a.m. on Tuesday night showed that Measure A had garnered 74 percent of the vote, with all 268 precincts having reported.
Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries are banned in the city, though about 4 to 6 centers are open, defying the city’s laws, according to medical marijuana activists and city officials.
The new measure will allow the City to tax medical marijuana businesses in two ways; Cultivation acreage will be taxed based on their measurements. Each square foot will be charged a tax of $15 per year, which may go up to $50 if the council approves. The rate will also go up based on regional inflation. Non-profit medical marijuana facilities will be charged $10 per square foot, with the rate going up in tandem with inflation figures.
The second way provides for gross sales to be taxed at 6 percent, which may go up to as much as 10 percent subject to council approval, reported the Orange County Register.
The whole tax revenue will be channelled to a general fund, which meets parks, infrastructure, emergency services and other city costs. Since Long Beach is yet to decide how dispensaries will be regulated, it is hard to determine the revenue estimates of this tax.
Opponents of the tax argued that the charges will make medical marijuana way out of reach for most patients. On the other hand, the Long Beach Collective Association backed the tax, arguing it will further legitimize the medical marijuana.
To contact the reporter of this tax; Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org