Redding’s cannabis tax bill to be on the ballot in November

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The bill would add a tax on cultivation and retail sales of cannabis

Residents of Redding, CA will see a measure added to the ballot this November that has serious implications on the pocketbook. Measure C, if approved, would introduce a tax on all things cannabis, including cultivation, manufacturing, production and retail sales. The income produced would give the city much-needed funds for public safety and law enforcement.

Currently, only one marijuana business is located in Redding – retailer Synergy. Because of the limited market, it’s difficult to determine how much money could be generated from taxes. However, City Manager Barry Tippin expects the tax to eventually provide a windfall. He said, “In the tax measure itself, we estimate it somewhere between 750-thousand to a million dollars per year annually as the business continues to grow.”

The City of Shasta Lake received just over $500,000 from marijuana taxes, allowing the city to hire additional staff for its police force and providing funds to improve public areas. Tippin added, “I think we all know we need more resources for that. And if a marijuana tax can get us there, then that’s what we would look for the tax to provide.”

The tax could be anywhere from 3-10%. Synergy’s owner agrees that a tax is acceptable, as long as it is sustainable. “I think somewhere under 5 percent is where it should be. Historically, it seems like cities have put the tax between say 5 and 10 percent. For example, Shasta Lake sets it at about 6,” she said.

If Measure 3 is approved, growers could pay $3 for every square foot of cultivation area during the first year – possibly more in subsequent years. 3% of gross receipts would be paid by manufacturers, processors, testing labs and storage and distribution centers. Retailers would pay 5%.