The June Primary, Cannabis Edition: Races and Measures to Watch

California voters hit the polls this Tuesday to weigh in on a handful of state propositions and an overflowing pool of candidates for governor. But this is our marijuana policy blog, so we’re looking at all things cannabis.

The Candidates

The marijuana industry has been pouring beaucoup bucks into state and local races this cycle in order to give their political allies -- and friendly marijuana policies -- a boost. CalMatters has a good breakdown of the politicians receiving the most from the cannabis industry. It shows the following:

  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, candidate for governor, has received $495,727
  • Assemblyman Rob Bonta has received $60,500
  • Fiona Ma, candidate for state treasurer has received $42,861
  • Assemblyman Evan Low has received $34,300
  • Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has received $31,700
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, candidate for governor, has received $31,700
  • Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer has received $31,300
  • Assemblyman Adam Gray has received $26,100
  • Controller Betty Yee has received $25,800
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra has received $21,600

The Measures

In addition to all the personalities on the June 5 ballot, we have a number of local cannabis measures to contend with. The majority of them would establish new commercial cannabis programs, legalizing the local industry and imposing a range of new taxes and fees.

• Jurupa Valley’s Measure A would legalize marijuana businesses in the city’s Manufacturing-Service Commercial zone, provided they meet certain requirements. Conversely, Jurupa Valley’s Measure B would continue the existing ban on commercial marijuana in the city. UPDATE: Measure A failed. Measure B has passed with 57.22%, extending the city's ban on commercial cannabis.

• Mammoth Lakes’ Measure C would impose a 1% tax on testing laboratories’ gross receipts; a 2% tax on marijuana cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing businesses; and a 4% tax on retail. UPDATE: Measure C has passed with 82.28% of the vote.

• Merced’s Measure Y would authorize a tax of $25 per square foot of cultivation space or 10% of gross receipts, whichever is greater. City officials estimate it would generate $1,000,000 annually to fund public safety services. This is a special tax so it requires a two-thirds supermajority vote. UPDATE: Measure Y has passed with 76.92%.

• Nevada City’s Measure F would tax marijuana businesses at a rate of $7 per canopy square foot of cultivation space. It would also impose a tax on businesses at 8% of gross receipts and 6% for all other cannabis enterprises. UPDATE: Measure F has passed with 85.07%.

• Pasadena’s Measure CC would repeal the existing ban on commercial marijuana in the city. Measure DD would authorize a marijuana cultivation tax of $10 per canopy square foot, a tax on dispensaries amounting to 6% of gross receipts, and a tax of 4% for all other marijuana businesses. Ahead of the vote, Pasadena health officials have already launched a campaign to educate the public on the effects of cannabis use. UPDATE: Measure CC has passed with 59.90%. Measure DD has also passed with 75.49%.

• San Rafael’s Measure G would authorize the administration of a new commercial cannabis program and tax. Marijuana businesses would be taxed at a maximum of 8% of gross receipts annually. This is a special tax requiring two-thirds support. The Marin Journal Editorial Board has called it an important step forward for the cityUPDATE: Measure G has passed with 82.49%.

• Weed’s Measure K would tax marijuana sales at 10% of gross receipts and cultivation at $10 to $26 per square foot of space, depending on the type of grow. UPDATE: Measure K has passed with 68.75%.

• Mono County’s Measure D would impose a commercial marijuana cultivation tax of $0.50 to $2 depending on square footage and a business tax of 1% to 8% of gross receipts, depending on business type. UPDATE: Measure D has passed with 79.78%.

• Monterey County’s Measure H would authorize the county’s Regional Fire District to tax marijuana businesses in order to aid fire protection services. It comes at a time when the industry says it needs tax relief in order to stay afloat. The county just slashed its cultivation taxes, along with other fees, to help keep the legal industry intact. Some fear Measure H could push that effort back. UPDATE: Measure H has passed with 66.57%. 

• San Benito’s Measure C would impose a tax on cannabis businesses of $3 to $17 per square foot of space for cultivators; up to 4% of gross receipts for distributors; 2.5% to 4% for manufacturers; up to 8% for retailers; and 2.5% to 5% for microbusinesses. Read more about Measure C hereUPDATE: Measure C has passed with 58%.

• San Luis Obispo County’s Measure B-18 would impose a tax on marijuana business gross receipts. It would start 4%, increasing annually to a maximum of 10% of gross receipts. UPDATE: Measure B-18 has passed with 76.81%.

• Santa Barbara County’s Measure T would impose new taxes on commercial pot as follows: 1% of gross receipts for nurseries and distributors; 35 of gross receipts for manufacturers; 4% for cultivators; and 6% for retailers and microbusinesses. Read more about Measure T here and hereUPDATE: Measure T has passed with 75.73%.

• Yolo County’s Measure K would impose a tax on commercial marijuana activity in unincorporated parts of the county as follows: 1% to 15% of gross receipts, with an initial cultivation rate of 4% and 5% for other businesses subject to an oversight committee. UPDATE: Measure K has passed with 79.14%.


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Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 04:16

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and members of the city’s police department announced a colossal sweep of illegal cannabis businesses operating within the city Wednesday.