Grover Beach residents will get the chance to decide if their city will tax medical and recreational marijuana when they go to the polls in November.
After a lengthy conversation, members of the Grover Beach City Council directed staff to develop a ballot measure that would implement the tax on a wide range of commercial marijuana operations, including delivery, cultivation, distribution, and retail. The council will need to vote by early August to place the measure on the ballot in order to get the measure before voters during the Nov. 8 election.
If passed, the tax could bring thousands of dollars to the city, but Mayor John Shoals indicated that it would also help offset the cost of regulating the industry, which could be expensive for a small city like Grover Beach.
“I don’t want everyone to think this is a huge money grab,” Shoals said. “This is really a matter of us trying to find a balance.”
Based on the directions from the council to staff, the tax will likely be a percentage based on the gross receipts of the businesses, and tax cultivation operations separately based on square footage. The council also indicated that the ballot measure would be written in a way that would include taxation of potential recreational marijuana businesses should the state initiative pass, and that they wanted to tax medical marijuana-related businesses at a lower percentage than potential recreational operations.
“I truly believe we need to consider the patients,” Councilmember Karen Bright said.
City staff is expected to present the council with the ballot measure wording at its Aug. 1 meeting.