California Cities Vote to Tax Marijuana; Northern CA Cultivation Measures Fail

Also see: California Measures Taxing Medical Marijuana Win Big At Ballot Box AP, 11/5/14

November 5, 2014 - California voters at the local level continue to favor taxing marijuana, but aren’t sure the want to see it grown, or sold.

On a night when Washington DC, Oregon and Alaska voted for adult legalization measures, and 57% of Florida voters approved medical marijuana (falling short of the 60% needed in that state), Californians voted by 58.5% to approve Proposition 47, a measure to defelonize drug possession. Proposition 46, which was pushed as a measure to drug test doctors and was therefore opposed by California NORML, lost handily with 67% of the voters rejecting it.

Two of the three measures in Riverside county to tax medical marijuana sales and cultivation appear to have passed. Cathedral City voted to enact a 15% sales tax on medical marijuana; in Desert Hot Springs voters approved a 10% tax on sales, plus a tax on medical marijuana cultivation of $25 per square foot for the first 3,000 square feet, and $10 per square foot thereafter. Santa Cruz city and county also approved a retail tax, and voters approved a 6% added sales tax in Shasta Lake City.

However, it appears that the local backlash against outdoor medical marijuana cultivation continues. Measures to loosen cultivation rules in Shasta, Butte, Lake, and Nevada counties all failed to carry. Shasta citizens rallied to place a referendum against an outdoor cultivation ban on the ballot earlier this year, and saw their measure fail despite endorsement from the Redding Record-Searchlight newspaper. In Butte county, where voters backed a repeal of county rules in 2012, the county-backed measure carried while an activist-backed measure painted as favoring commercial growers was rejected. Similarly in Lake, where a referendum on their county’s ordinance was narrowly defeated in June, the activist-backed Measure O lost by a decisive margin almost as large as the broadly worded Measure P. In Nevada County activists are suing the county because of prejudicial language in the ballot pamphlets for their measure, which also failed to carry.

Santa Ana approved the city-backed measure BB to regulate dispensaries, by a larger percentage of the vote than the more liberal measure CC promoted by activists. Dispensaries were rejected in La Mesa and Encinitas, and a measure to approve dispensaries and tax them in Blythe also appears to have lost. In two nonbinding votes, the town of Weed in Siskiyou county rejected both dispensaries (by 55-45% on Measure L) and outdoor cultivation (by 52-48% on Measure K).

The conundrum of citizens living in unfriendly cities and counties unable to benefit from liberal state laws was repeated last night in Colorado, where 5 of 7 cities voted against marijuana retail stores. However, two counties in New Mexico voted for decriminalization, and voters in several cities in Michigan, Maine and Massachusetts voted to depenalize pot. Guam became the first US territory to approve medical marijuana. Read more.

Oakland, California passed the nation’s first marijuana business tax in 2009. In 2010, all tax measures on the ballot in California passed (even though Prop. 19 did not). Prop. 47's passage means that hashish can no longer be prosecuted as a felony in California, effective immediately.

All eyes are now on California for 2016 for a full adult legalization measure. California NORML is working with a coalition of groups towards that end. Read more.

This article was revised re: Santa Ana and Weed


Santa Cruz County New Cultivation Proposal

In January, Santa Cruz county will, again, propose to redefine their cultivation rules. The current rules have allowed cultivation outdoors, with amount of plants and square footage of grow based on size of parcel. New rules proposed will allow outdoor grows only on parcels zoned CA or A.
This would suddenly relegate most current grows as illegal. Does anyone have any new info on this? I believe they are meeting on the new rules 1/13/15.

Santa Cruz meeting

Yes, Santa Cruz county met on that day. Cal NORML heard from patients and activists there and wrote to the Supervisors with our concerns. I haven't heard anything since the meeting, however. Has anyone else?

We have to convince the voters we are not witches

Counter lies with truth, but be prepared for fundamentalists. They are in the dark because of politics, not science. They are potential converts.

But we have to quit preaching only to the choir and educate the public.
We can put Well Documented ads in the media (which opponents will try to discredit).

Shasta Co. Sheriff waited until last few days before election to place misleading add, when it was too late to counter.

fundamentalists? WT heck are you talking about?

This has nothing to do with that. It has to do with neighborhoods having to live with the underbelly of those in the community that know where the grow houses are and intend to rob or disrupt the neighborhood. And they would not be there if it wasn't for the grow house in the first place.

My car has been broken into and another car stolen because of the trashy people associated with this grow house.The grower is making cash on the barrel head while I work my fingers off to make and honest tax payers living.

TAX TAX TAX them as a business and I have no problem what so ever with the growing or the smoking. TAX TAX TAX the hell out of them just like hard working law abiding citizens are taxed.

And this is why we have such a bad name

First off What inclined you to TROLL the NORML page and comment this? and people working in cannabis have no need to steal its more likely your neighbors kids who couldnt sleep because theyre on adderall or maybe it was your wife who needs to get wasted every single night just to sleep next to you because you are a pathetic sorry slob. And one more thing, You type TAX one more time and the t is going to break off your macintosh and then your wont be able to Troll anymore so keep that in mind if you plan on replying. why are you back reading this anyway? shouldnt you be off beating your kids or wife or just beating off?

Awe.. it legalized.. Taxes now :'(

I fully agree with the complaints aired. I have had my vehicle broken into twice on account of the same trash growers in my county. Let alone the fact that many of the folks growing under the medical system are directly tied to the hells angels, or one of the other biker gangs. Then there is the cartel involvement as well.. Finally CA legalized this. I listened to commercial growers for some time while working in the industry.. All of which state legalization is bad. I have gotten to know many of these folks personally and have been a producer myself. Many in the industry, unfortunately the majority involve themselves in drug sales aside from Cannabis. All of the commercial growers concerned about legalization are the ones that skirt the fringe of the medical system. For instance.. Taking in many many more pounds than the defined limit for exchanges in set county.. Then shipping them via darknet to the east coast, and anywhere else that will pay $5-8K on a pound. The medical system has been incredibly abused and those whom where able to get involved in the commercial level generally gained access via their criminal networks wealth or reach. Taxation, clearly defined regulations, and a much safer and tolerant climate for home growing has been established.

Not to mention the aspect of the industry having been mainly monopolized. From a producer standpoint, a producer of live living organics boutique quality flowers.. The standards for quality are disgusting. So much of the herb that is sold in dispensaries is far below medical quality (mold, improper cure, bad growing techniques, use of pesticides like eagle 20 that are genuinely harmful..) There is generally fake test results on everything other than the "highest end" indoor strains (highest end still being cheap hydroponics nutrient lines, often misrepresented as a genuine boutique product)

I am truly not a big fan of "Organic" "GMO Free" type of arguments because concerning food, personal health it means next to nothing. I do not discourage the use of proper pest control, and mold control regiments. However when it comes to high end cannabis the only true boutique weed is that produced in genuine living organic soil by producers knowledgeable in soil science and botany. Living Organics when done right just tastes better, and produces a better chemical profile when tested with Lab equipment and standards. Food that is organic is ridiculous and 3-6 times more than standard readily available healthy food. I have produced Hydroponics in several methods with excellent results, as well as Aero, and my tried and true favorite Living Organic Soil mixes.

IF the dispensaries and medical system as a whole was not disregarding the standards and regulations and just saying "F#*@ Em'" when it concerns their customers safe affordable access than the medical system would be fine. That is unfortunately not the case, many of the dispensaries lie @ their product and rely on poorly educated customer base to gather a much larger profit margin (not all.. of course some do operate within strict confines of law)

Getting nickeled and dimed when you have a genuine medical condition is vastly inappropriate and unethical. I developed a medical condition that was very severe then began utilizing cannabis regularly, and eventually producing my own. My own production came out of financial necessity. It was a real big shame to find a product that actually helped me to move about in daily activities without too much pain, then to get into the industry and discover the really nasty and shady aspects that many decided to bring into it.. Disappointing to say the least..

Then to live in a neighborhood with several (pretty obvious i might add..) growhouses and having my car burglarized.. Really kind of sucks. Most of these individuals definitely seem to be peddling more than flowers. Tends to attract less desirable "grabby" types..

Well.. Now it is legalized.. It won't be perfect and many of these criminal types that wish to manipulate the system to their advantage will still exist in all levels of cannabis production. It is a tremendous step in the right direction, tax, define regulations, and be able to actually enforce them. The money will certainly help the state. I am sure that your perspective matters to you, it just seems to me like your simplifying things.

While I do think the "fundamentalist" individual sounds a bit angry.. You both are just arguing on a thread. I think there is a point to both perspectives. All growers are not bad, but there are some very inherent flaws that are not beneficial to everyone. Taxation and Regulation is wonderful for the rights of individuals and people as a whole where as lack of regulations and enforcement of tax codes takes away individuals rights and grants them to those in control of the production/price. The new law provides better incentive for the industry to act like any other industry. Accept the scrutiny, and grow through it. It will ultimately benefit producers/distributors as it is the most integral step in making a new market nationally/globally feasible.

Lets all try and be good stewards of this good herb, and provide it for a reasonable markup from production cost that ensures a reasonable wage to grower w/ programs to fund the medicine costs of individuals with lower income and serious medical conditions based on case by case evaluation (defined by state) A minimum quality standard of flowers for store sales should also be defined in my personal opinion a more uniform product appearance and adherence to would again promote the growth of this industry.. Jah Bless, and smoke the best :)

re: fundamentalists?

I love how you use the term underbelly of society as a phrase to describe people that have nothing to do with any of this. That's like saying clean the neighborhood of republicans because they attract corporate interest. Sure it may be a perfectly logical train of thought, but it sounds more like a topic that should be discussed in a circle among others who think outside the box like you.... in other words, you probably don't need weed cuz you have your head in the clouds sober. Weed probably puts you in another world entirely. This world is probably too much for you to handle. The proof of this is in your last paragraph which blatantly contradicts everything you said beforehand. Also, it points out your TRUE motive for the whole rant. Jealousy. And the sad thing is, you can tax the hell out of weed all you want, but you're not going to stop people from profiting off of it for quite some time.