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Cash Crop: California Sees Dollar Signs With Marijuana Legalization

Californians are approaching to pass a list magnitude on Election Day legalizing recreational marijuana, and a awaiting has cities and counties saying dollar signs.

Proposition 64 would levy state taxes on a cultivation and sale of marijuana. But it also allows internal jurisdictions to supplement taxes of their own, something many cities and counties pronounced they devise to do.

Economists advise that fatiguing taxes and fees on a nascent attention could backfire, fueling a black marketplace and pulling marijuana businesses to decamp for towns where it’s cheaper to operate. For many city and county officials opposite California, however, a guarantee of new income to fill bill gaps and account services is too alluring to pass up.

More than 60 internal marijuana measures will seem on ballots opposite California in Tuesday’s election. In Monterey, a scenic county along a state’s imperishable executive coast, officials pronounced new local marijuana taxes and fees, if approved, could move in $30 million, scarcely double a county’s $16 million bill deficit.

In Coalinga, a Fresno County village of about 13,000, officials wish to solve a $3 million bill predicament with marijuana taxes. Central California’s King City anticipates new revenues of $1 million to $2 million, or roughly 30 percent of a city’s ubiquitous fund.

11_05_legalweed_01 Volunteer Charlie Kirchheimer, 25, displays jars of dusty cannabis buds during a La Brea Collective medical pot hospital in Los Angeles, California, Mar 18, 2014. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Proposed marijuana taxes in Gonzales, race 8,400, are projected to strike $1.6 million, some-more than a city collects annually in sales and skill taxes combined.

“There is no other business that would beget this form of revenue,” Gonzales City Manager Rene Mendez said. “It’s easy to see because this is something that communities wish to pursue.”

Some California communities have left further, announcing skeleton to reinvent themselves as hubs for a industry.

Desert Hot Springs in Southern California, a city that narrowly skirted failure after a financial crash, was one of a few cities to pass a marijuana  taxation in 2014. It is fervent for marijuana revenue. The city upheld an bidding to concede for flourishing and estimate businesses to legally operate.

Mayor Scott Matas pronounced it’s already carrying an effect—real estate prices on empty and decayed industrial parcels have skyrocketed as investors mount staid to build production sites and open nurseries.

Forecasts for local marijuana taxes—which will be collected in further to state taxes—are staggering. Desert Hot Springs’ stream ubiquitous account is about $15 million. But city leaders plan  marijuana tax collections could strech $1 million subsequent year and, eventually, stand to $50 million if all a accessible land gets entirely built out.

“If a attention takes off, a income could be life-changing for this community,” Matas said.


Many of a California communities anticipating to cash in on recreational marijuana formed their skeleton after assembly with David McPherson of HdL Companies, a Southern California consulting organisation specializing in income strategies for internal governments. The former Oakland taxation director pronounced he believes marijuana provides a singular event for new pursuit expansion and taxation income that could assistance struggling communities keep gait with rising grant costs and infrastructure and propagandize appropriation needs.

“It’s roughly like a subsequent dot com,” he said.

McPherson is operative with 40 communities on  marijuana  issues and has helped breeze a dozen internal taxation measures for Tuesday’s ballots.

“Cities have unequivocally struggled to change their budgets,” he said. “This is a new attention that’s going to boost significantly and emanate jobs and some-more practice in their communities.”

Not all municipalities have embraced high marijuana taxes. Some pronounced they wish to squish a black marketplace by gripping taxes low, so authorised businesses can improved contest with a unlawful supply.

In Mendocino, a longtime marijuana-growing segment in Northern California, county officials scoffed during initial projections by McPherson of adult to $110 million in annual internal taxes—a intensity cash infusion homogeneous to 60 percent of a county’s ubiquitous fund. Instead, a county due a magnitude with a most reduce taxation rate.

“These numbers are designed to make supervision drool and say, ‘How most can we get out of a cultivators and farmers?’” pronounced Jude Thilman, a Fort Bragg proprietor and member of a Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council during a May assembly of a Mendocino County Supervisors. “The farmers are not doing that well. People are hardly removing by.”

Nate Bradley, conduct of a California Cannabis Industry Association, worries that high taxes would inspire farmers to continue flourishing  marijuana  illegally. “We wish to lift these guys out of a hills. But if you’re looking during them like they’re ATM machines, they are not going to come out of a hills.”

Article source: http://www.newsweek.com/california-dollar-signs-marijuana-legalization-517404