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Los Angeles Raises Cannabis Tax Rates Keeping the Illicit Market Alive and Well in California

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LA cannabis tax revenue

Voters in Los Angeles County voted overwhelmingly in favor of a measure that, will charge business taxes to cannabis operations operating in unincorporated regions,  after such firms are allowed to operate. Cannabis businesses operating in unincorporated regions must abide by county laws, which are currently being developed. The Board of Supervisors will likely consider an ordinance next year.

 

Voters adopted Measure C earlier this month, setting a tax schedule for these enterprises once they are eventually allowed, in the interim. The proposal established a number of initial tax rates, including $4 per square foot for cultivation under mixed lighting and $7 per square foot for cultivation indoors. The rates were set at 4% for retail gross receipts and 3% for production and distribution.

 

Initially, the levies are expected to raise $10.36 million annually, according to county staff. The ordinance specifies future fee increases after those first hikes, which will take effect on July 1, 2026.

 

The initial plan will probably permit up to 25 shopfront retail cannabis companies county-wide, 25 delivery retail stores, 10 establishments for indoor/mixed-light cultivation, 10 establishments for production, 10 establishments for delivery, and 10 establishments for testing laboratories, according to county staff, even though guidelines for marijuana operational processes in rural areas are currently being developed.

 

Each of the five supervisory districts is expected to have an equal distribution of businesses.

 

THE EFFECT ON THE OUTDOOR GROWS AND RURAL AREAS

 

In August, Supervisor Kathryn Barger claimed the tax measure did not portend an increase in outdoor grows. Her district encompasses the rural northern parts of the county that are hubs of illegal marijuana operations.

 

According to the strategy we’ve chosen, cannabis will only be allowed to be grown indoors, and not outdoors in greenhouses, as Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated at a recent board meeting. This will ensure that legal cannabis enterprises are distributed fairly throughout each supervisorial district.

 

Unambiguously, our board must state that we will not put up with illegal cannabis businesses. Illegal growers sabotage our efforts to establish a controlled and ethical cannabis sector, frequently at the cost of the rural people I represent. I will gather all resources available to strengthen enforcement and deterrence measures because I’m strongly committed to respecting the law, she stated.

 

WHAT MEASURE C IS ABOUT

California legalized adult use and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2016, but local governments in the state are free to choose whether and how to impose taxes on marijuana sales that take place within their borders.

 

The endeavor to decide so is Measure C, proposed by L.A. County. In the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County, the proposed ballot item asks voters to approve a tax on cannabis firms, including those engaged in the production, distribution, and sale of the drug. The County’s overall objective is to control the cannabis market in unincorporated regions, and approving the tax is a key component of that effort.

 

Cannabis sales in Los Angeles County would not be permitted under Measure C. It would still need to be put to a vote by the Board of Supervisors, who have stated they intend to do so in 2023.

 

For the Los Angeles County General Fund and a marijuana equity program, which would grant equal chances for people to enter the cannabis sector, the County projects a total taxable income of $10.4 million.

 

Los Angeles County Cannabis Business Tax Measure

The ballot summary for this measure was:

The measure enacts a tax on cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County at annual rates not to exceed $10 per square foot for cultivation (adjusted for inflation) and a percentage of gross receipts for different cannabis businesses, including retail (6%), testing laboratories (2%); distribution (3%) and for manufacturing, and for all other cannabis businesses (4%); will generate between approximately $10,360,000 and $15,170,000 annually.

 

SIMILAR CANNABIS TAX MEASURE IN OTHER COUNTY

 

Taxing legislation for cannabis businesses was approved by San Diego County Supervisors in June; it must still be approved by voters. Measure A is now on the ballot in November thanks to the actions.

 

At the board meeting on June 15, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher stated, they are at another step in our progress towards establishing the safe, controlled, and legalized marijuana market in the unincorporated areas and he thinks this is a good endeavor.

 

Jim Desmond, the county supervisor, questioned why just the rural county would be subject to the marijuana business tax and why voters would have to decide on the issue on a countywide basis. According to county personnel, it is illegal to act otherwise because it is California law.

 

The argument put up by supporters is that towns like San Diego, Lemon Grove, La Mesa, Oceanside, and Vista already have cannabis business regulations. Measure A would generate additional funds to shut illegal cannabis operations while covering increased regulatory costs.

 

Measure A’s proponents contend that it is a nonpartisan approach to developing a secure, controlled, and lawful adult cannabis market in San Diego County and that it maintains tax money in the region. It taxes the businesses rather than the people who use cannabis, according to supporters. As a result, there won’t be a double tax because the tax won’t apply to cannabis businesses in incorporated cities. Supporters added that the tax is necessary to close down the illegal cannabis businesses that have plagued several areas of the county.

 

The cannabis company tax’s detractors argued that it was unjust since it only applied to businesses operating in the county’s unincorporated areas, despite the fact that all county residents would be able to vote on the issue. Aside from doubting whether tax revenues will genuinely fund services in the tax-paying areas, the official rebuttal is also dubious of claims of social equality.

 

BOTTOM LINE

 

The cannabis tax (Measure C) approval by Los Angeles County, is a step that was taken in an attempt to control the illegal grows in the county, by curbing outdoor production and regulating indoor or mixed-light grows.

 

CANNABIS TAX RATES, READ ON…

CALI TAX RATES ON CANNABIS

COULD CALI CANNABIS TAXES HIT 45% OR HIGHER? 



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What Can Other Countries Learn from First-Mover Canada’s Shrinking Medical Marijuana Industry?

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Canadian medical market shrinking

Since its peak, the regulated medical cannabis industry in Canada has declined a bigger rate than most people thought would happen with recreational legalization. This decline began even before the legalization of recreational marijuana in October 2018 to be precise, and has continued as adult-use sales have replaced controlled medical cannabis purchases.

 

According to experts, the ease of purchasing from adult-use retailers, difficulties for doctors in approving medical cannabis, a lack of tax benefits for medical cannabis consumers and producers, and the fact that THC potency thresholds apply to both medicinal and recreational cannabis products are all contributing factors to the medical market’s decline.

 

Those problems could serve as lessons for other countries and regions that approve medical marijuana first before legalizing it for adult usage.

 

THE SITUATION IN CANADA

 

According to data from Statistics Canada, medical cannabis spending in Canada peaked in the fourth quarter of 2017, at 161 million Canadian dollars, nearly a year before recreational marijuana sales started.

 

The most current statistics indicate that medicinal marijuana sales increased to CA$109 million during the second quarter of 2022 from a low of CA$104 million in the first. According to Brett Zettl, president and CEO of Zyus Life Sciences, a medical marijuana business based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is getting ready to go public through a reverse takeover, patients are currently just giving up and buying stuff from an adult-use store.

 

Canada was the first significant economy in the world to federally legalize recreational marijuana use. But established marijuana markets in the US, like Colorado, have shown a similar tendency, with medical markets contracting after recreational legalization.

 

If Germany implements its proposal to legalize adult use, these tendencies make it uncertain if the country’s largest cannabis market in Europe will experience a similar medicinal market drop.

 

According to Deepak Anand, a top executive of the charitable advocacy group Medical Cannabis Canada and a consultant on cannabis laws for several international governments, some Germans purchase medical marijuana out of their own pockets, and that segment of the market stands to be impacted by the legalization of adult use.

 

Anand said that the public health system reimburses about 40% of all German medicinal marijuana prescriptions.

 

“I don’t think the pattern that we’ve seen in legal markets—where, basically, after recreational legalization, we see medicinal sales have declined—will necessarily continue in Germany,” Anand added.

 

THE INCONVENIENCE FACTOR

 

To obtain dried marijuana, oils, edibles, or topicals through the government’s system, Canadians need a prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner. This allows people to purchase marijuana straight from licensed dealers for mail delivery.

 

Both growing medical marijuana at home and purchasing it from a certified grower are acceptable.

 

As of the end of 2021, just 42,000 people were producing medical marijuana for personal use or others, according to Health Canada.

 

Comparatively, over 257,000 people registered to purchase cannabis from a commercial grower.

 

Zettl, a veteran participant in Canada’s regulated MMJ market, suggests that several causes could account for the market’s fall since its 2017 peak.  Zettl stated that the Canadian medical cannabis patient group contained both “genuine medicinal users” and some casual users before the legalization of recreational use in October 2018.  They would attempt to obtain it legally while continuing to take it recreationally, according to Zettl.

 

Now, he claimed, purchasing marijuana at an adult-use store is easier than utilizing the legal medical marijuana system.

 

Zettl also thinks that doctors might be reluctant to waste hours filling out medical marijuana permission paperwork and that medical-certification agencies may audit doctors who approve cannabis for an excessive number of patients.

 

People simply don’t want the inconvenience element, according to Zettl. The hassle aspect is not desired by the doctors.

 

Following the legalization of cannabis for adult use, new cannabis products, such as edibles, entered the market. However, medical cannabis products are still subject to the same laws as recreational cannabis, including THC limitations on goods like edibles.

 

Anand said that it would be incorrect to hold recreational and medical marijuana to equal standards, concerning imposing limitations for high THC, for example.

 

He contends that due to Canada’s preoccupation with legalizing marijuana for recreational use, not just have patients been overlooked, but also regulating policy has been disregarded to a significant degree.”

 

The patient is going to the illegal market to be able to acquire their products, as we observed and are still experiencing, he continued.

 

Another historical obstacle for the medical market was the cost of cannabis, according to Anand.  That has improved since recreational use was legalized.

 

Although it does allow registered patients to deduct medical marijuana costs on their yearly tax returns, Canada does not provide registered medical cannabis users with any special tax treatment.

 

Patients who purchase medical marijuana pay retail taxes, just like they would at a store selling recreational goods, and growers pay the same excise taxes as those on cannabis for adult use.

 

Anand stated that it simply doesn’t make sense since, in Canada, there is no tax on any other medicinal products.

 

GAINING GROUND ONCE MORE

 

To get Canada’s medical marijuana business thriving once more, Anand advocated for legislative changes.

 

It should be done right away, he argued, to permit pharmacists to administer medical cannabis.  We should also immediately remove taxes and potency restrictions.

 

The Canadian cannabis sector is hoping for changes to the federal Cannabis Act, which is presently being reviewed.

 

One of the key subjects for the review, according to the government, is the effect of regulation and legalization of cannabis on accessibility to marijuana for medical purposes.

 

According to Zyus’ Zettl, the government is utilizing “this recreational-style statute to control and regulate the medical side – and it’s coming at a great disservice for the medicinal usage, on both the doctors’ side and the patient side.

 

Zettl stated that Zyus is creating three cannabis drug-product candidates to expand the country’s medicinal marijuana industry and anticipates eventually obtaining official Drug Identification Numbers (DINs) from Health Canada.

 

Because they could be included in insurance companies’ formularies for prescription drugs and doctors could recommend them without worrying about being scrutinized by regulators.

 

Zettl acknowledged the long-term nature of obtaining DINs for herbal cannabis products.

 

Therefore, medical marijuana must, in the interim, find methods to appeal to those who are really, honestly utilizing it for medical purposes and offer them a reason to continue using it rather than giving up and only purchasing it (from recreational businesses).

 

BOTTOM LINE

Other countries looking to make recreational cannabis legal at the federal level can take a look at what the move did to the Canadian cannabis market and work on policies and regulations that will be better for the country before legalization takes place.

 

COUNTRIES LEGALIZING WEED, READ ON…

COUNTRIES LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

COUNTRIES LEGALIZING CANNABIS BEFORE THE USA? CLICK HERE!



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Religious Dogma is Anti-Cannabis Legalization?

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religious marijuana myths

Reginald bong-rips religious dogma to shreds…

 

It’s been a while since I’ve put on my “thinking gloves” and had a few rounds with some random internet “opinion”. You see, I don’t mind it if people tear into my arguments. I’ve had some hate in the past due to the things I write, but for the most part I staple together a pretty coherent thought.

 

At least I have some highly entertaining lines that people seem to enjoy.

 

Therefore, I believe that if anyone feels like “ripping me a new one” on anything I have written in the past – more power to them! I think opinions or ideas are supposed to be discussed, disintegrated, challenged, and strengthened in the art of mental combat.

 

This is why I dedicate some of my writing energy to writing responses to assumptions, accusations, and outright lies by people who wish to enforce a state of prohibition.

 

To be fair, I don’t care if you smoke or don’t – my main principle is that you are an autonomous being that should have autonomous decision making about what you can and cannot consume. No state should have the power to tell you, “Don’t eat that!” or “Don’t drink that!”

 

If I truly am free, I should be able to drink a bottle of rattlesnake poison if I choose to do so…however, for a long time in places like the US “suicide was a crime”. This is no longer the case federally, but many places still list “attempted suicide” as a criminal offense within their statutes.

 

A crime against who?

 

This is the big question…who owns the individual?

 

Well – that depends on who you ask and that is the perfect opening to introduce our “virtual contender” for today’s bout.

Father Dogma

Stoners and Stonettes – I present to you – “The Dogma Father” who argues that the state enforce God’s law (but not directly) and thinks that cannabis legalization is “bad mmm-kay”.

 

I don’t really know this dude’s real name – and in all likeliness he’s probably not a bad guy if you get to know him in real life.

 

However, the opinion that is dwelling inside his grey head is a treacherous beast that needs to be slayed. It’s rooted in a “satanic principle” which I’ll explain later on, and that goes in direct contrast to his true beliefs. In fact, I wrote about that at length here. Today however, I’ll apply the same ideals in contrast to his dogmatic and highly religious beliefs.

 

So let’s get ready!

 

ROUND 1: Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug!

 

DOGMA FATHER TAKES FIRST SWING:

 

Despite such broad acceptance, marijuana remains a dangerous drug that undermines both good civic order and public health. It decreases the ability to control emotions, leading to improper and anti-social behavior. It’s a recognized cause of crime and violence, as well as auto accidents and other mishaps.

It’s also profoundly self-destructive. Marijuana users commit suicide at three times the rate of the general population. And marijuana is commonly acknowledged as a “gateway drug,” leading to the use of other, more potent and addictive substances. Research suggests it even increases alcohol consumption.

SOURCE: NewsPress

REGINALD RESPONDS:

 

HOLY SHIT DID WE TRAVEL IN TIME? All we’re missing now is “it makes darkies think they’re as good as white people” as was attributed to Harry J. Anslinger.

 

There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the claims being spouted by Dogma Father. In fact, every place that has legalized has seen a general decrease in crime as suggested by THIS STUDY. Secondly, there is no evidence that it “decreases the ability to control emotions”.

 

I’ve been smoking cannabis for twenty-years and despite certain moments of my life when under extreme pressure – I’m as Zen as they get. Now some might argue that it’s “anecdotal evidence” which is true, however, his statement is a blanket statement that assumes that “everyone can’t control their emotions under the influence of cannabis” and the mere existence of myself destroys that claim.

 

While I haven’t seen the alleged study claiming that cannabis increases the likeliness of suicide…which I doubt highly…we can play the devil’s advocate with this one.

 

Let’s say that it’s true that people who commit suicide also smoke cannabis. However, could the cannabis not merely be a coping mechanism for the crippling depression they are carrying? Could it not be them trying to numb the pain and cannabis is an available substance?

 

Perhaps it’s not that cannabis leads to more suicide…perhaps it’s suicidal people who use cannabis to escape their thoughts. I know a few people who had suicidal tendencies and have helped them cope with these thoughts – it’s never the substance causing the thoughts…it’s usually some internal underlying trauma hidden from the conscious mind.

 

If anything, you can use cannabis to heal these broken parts – but once more, anecdotal!

 

 

DOGMA FATHER TAKES ANOTHER SWING

 

 A proposal to legalize pot shops is expected to come before the Collier County Board of Commissioners early next year. This is unfortunate, because even the public debate of legal sales will draw added attention to the drug, making it a common topic of conversation. This will reinforce the false impression that open availability is a legitimate public policy option.

If the measure should pass, the aggressive advertising that will inevitably follow can only amplify the message that marijuana is just fine.

It is not fine.

 

REGINALD DODGES AND JABS

 

God forbid anyone actually talk about the problems or issues in their lives. It’s far more polite to burry your problems deep in your unconscious, put on a fake smile and pretend everything is honky-dory.

 

What’s unfortunate is not that people will make cannabis a common topic of conversation, but rather that the blatant refusal of acknowledgement that “some people smoke cannabis”. The “leper strategy” – in where you ostracize or downplay a group of people who contradict your narrative doesn’t work.

 

You called us stoners and we took your word and made it ours, built a culture around it, and influenced the masses.

 

The false impression is that prohibition works. But all prohibition does is criminalizes your ability to choose what you can and cannot consume, gives unchecked powers to the government, and basically enslaves the world.

 

DOGMA  FATHER’S FINAL ATTACK!

 

Legalization is an extremely unwise policy. We must insist that our county commissioners approach this proposal with the utmost caution.

They have only to look at the consequences of unrestricted marijuana sales in cities like San Francisco, Denver, and others that have gone the legalization route. Increased crime, increased traffic hazard, increased illness, increased homelessness and panhandling — these and other deteriorated civic conditions are all too evident.

Marijuana is both a threat and a hazard. We don’t want the quality of life in Collier County going to pot.

 

REGINALD BOBS AND WEAVES

 

All of these “consequences” aren’t backed. They are merely perceptions from an indoctrinated religious scholar who believes that “the way things were” is the right way. Sorry to say, but no – all of that was based on lies, power grabs, and actually made drugs more dangerous.

 

Your entire philosophy is actually kind of satanic if you think about it.

 

 

REGINALD COMES WITH A QUICK ONE TWO

 

The other day I was thinking about the Garden of Eden (and the type of weed they might have had)….jk

 

I was thinking about the concept of creation and under the Christian myth, God is the creator of all. This includes cannabis. God made it for human consumption – He said so in the bible.

 

All of the warnings about lewd behavior in the bible almost always relates to drunkenness. The times that the Bible does mention weed, it’s as an ingredient in the Holy Anointing oils.

 

Therefore, to deny people access to cannabis is literally saying “God fucked up!” He didn’t mean cannabis!

 

I also specially remember parts of the Bible talking about “adding words to God’s word” and how that’s a big “no” within the whole God Almighty ethos.

 

But let’s say that you want to apply the reasoning of the “drunkenness” to cannabis, seeing that it “gets you high”. Of course, cannabis doesn’t get you “high” in the same way that alcohol gets you “drunk”. The effects are completely different.

 

Nonetheless, for the sake of argument – if God “warned” you about weed – he didn’t enforce his warning. Let me put it this way, you have “Free Will” under the ethos of God, meaning you have the freedom to sin.

 

However, for some reason, Father Dogma believes that God’s got it wrong again. You can’t just “allow people to be”, you must “enforce your law”.

 

Except, God doesn’t enforce his laws. If you get shit faced drunk or fuck your neighbor’s wife – you won’t drop dead because you broke God’s law.

 

Perhaps you “risk” the chance of eternal damnation in the fiery pits of hell, but while you’re living you’re allowed to sin as much as your wretched heart desires.

 

My question is; “If God doesn’t enforce his celestial laws on humans…if Christ didn’t intervene in earthly affairs – why is the Dogma Father sucking so hard on gubernatorial cock?”

 

I think the answer lies in the function of “organized religion” within the fabric of society. It’s not a coincidence that the Dogma Father spewed out similar points as Anslinger…they are cut from the same cloth.

 

There’s a song that has a line in it that says,

 

“The government wants to own your skin, religion your soul within, but all they seek is gold to put you under their control…”

SOURCE: (SONG)

 

And this is exactly correct. The truth of the matter is that these commands do not come from a “loving god” but rather the authoritarian hooks of Satan (according to their mythos).

 

Think about it, God says, “Live by these rules and life is awesome” but then doesn’t enforce the rules, they are more like guidelines.

 

However, within the Bible, Satan is painted as someone who wants to “bind and deceive you”, to “control your will”.

 

Then how is enforcing prohibition a thing of “God”? Sounds more like the devil’s work to me…

 

DOGMA FATHER GOES DOWN FOR THE COUNT…IT’S OVER!!!

 

THE BIBLE ON WEED, READ ON…

BIBLE ON MARIJUANA

WHAT DOES THE HOLY BIBLE SAY ABOUT MARIJUANA, READ THIS!



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Don’t Miss! New York Retail Dispensary Guidelines: What Every CAURD Applicant Needs to Know

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Register Here

Date: December 7th, 2022

Time: 2 – 3pm EST


New York recently released its adult-use cannabis retail dispensary guidelines and there is a lot to unpack. We will likely see additional changes to New York’s rules and regulations, but the released guidelines provide a robust initial framework for applicants (past and future) to follow.

Join Harris Bricken’s lead New York cannabis attorneys, Simon Malinowski and Matthew Schwartz as they analyze the recently released regulations.

Simon and Matt will cover operating requirements, employee training, and marketing rules, among many other topics covered in New York’s retail dispensary guidelines.


Check out some of our past Canna Law Blog posts on New York’s cannabis regulation updates:

  1. BREAKING: NY Federal Judge Blocks CAURD Licensing in Five Regions
  2. New York’s Cannabis Retail Dispensary Regulations Are Here!
  3. New York’s Cannabis Retail Dispensary Regulations, Part 1: Dispensary Operations



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