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© 2017 MERRY JANE. All Rights Reserved.

Sonoma County Approves Measure A to Tax Marijuana Businesses

Opponents of the measure fear that high taxes could harm smaller marijuana businesses.

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On the same day that Los Angeles voters approved Measure M to further regulate the city's marijuana industry, Sonoma County residents approved Measure A to tax cannabis businesses in their county.

The measure, approved by 70 percent of voters, will tax cannabis manufacturers, nurseries, distributors, dispensaries, labs, and transporters. Supply chain operators will be taxed between 5 and 10 percent of gross receipt sales, and other businesses will be taxed between 0 and 10 percent.

Cultivators will be taxed at up to $10 per square foot for outdoor grow-ops, up to $38 per square foot for indoor growers, and up to $22 per square foot for mixed-light operations. Once these individual tax rates are set, the county will be able to issue permits to businesses. The tax revenue will go to the county's general fund, and will be used to pay for regulating the industry.

“It’s important to generate enough revenue to cover county costs, but also keep the rates low enough to encourage small businesses to come into compliance,” said Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

However, The Sonoma County Growers Alliance believes that Measure A could actually discourage small growers. “It is critical that we keep initial tax rates low to enable as many operators as possible to enter the regulated marketplace,” said SCGA member Denny Rosatti.