Voters in four East Bay cities face measures to expand the medical cannabis industry, tax it at a higher rate, and prepare for the passage of Prop 19 in November. In Berkeley, Measure T would mandate permitting six indoor medical cannabis farms in the manufacturing district. It would also permit residential medical cannabis collectives to cultivate up to 200 square feet. The measure would boost the number of local dispensaries from three to four, and require they be at least 600 feet from schools and other dispensaries.
A separate Berkeley Measure S would impose a 2.5% sales tax, as well as a property tax on nonprofit medical cannabis businesses. The tax starts at $25 per square foot for the first 3,000 square feet and $10 per square foot thereafter. Measure S also prepares Berkeley for the passage of Prop 19—the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act—with a 10% sales tax on non-medical cannabis.
In Oakland, a Measure V would tax and regulate cannabis if Prop 19 passes, imposing a 10% tax on non-medical sales. Measure V would also raise medical cannabis business taxes from $18 per $1,000 to $50 per $1,000 of gross. The Oakland City Council meanwhile continues to work on permitting four large-scale cultivation sites.
In Richmond, the council also sent voters a Measure V, which would mandate "every person" engaged in a cannabis business pay a general business license tax of 5% of gross receipts. The tax comes after Richmond banned dispensaries, forced the existing ones to close—and then created permits for three in the city.
In Albany—which currently has no permitted dispensaries—Measure Q would create a business license tax for cannabis enterprises. For-profits in Albany would pay $25 per $1,000 gross, while non-profits would pay $25 per square foot of space for all businesses owned, rented or otherwise occupied. (Legalization Nation, Oct. 6)