Thursday, April 02, 2009

The High Times they are a changing

The revenuers are coming.

Eureka considers pot dispensaries as possible funding source

As Eureka talks about establishing some regulated medical marijuana dispensaries as a way to increase the city's tax revenue, Arcata said it's still working on collecting years' worth of sales tax from its dispensaries.

At a Eureka City Council budget goal-setting session Tuesday night, Councilwoman Linda Atkins suggested that the city pursue a way to establish regulated medical marijuana dispensaries as a way to increase revenue and tackle problems associated with grow houses in the community.

”It's already there, it's happening in our community and if we continue to let it happen ... underground, it's going to be detrimental to our community,” Atkins said.

At the next City Council meeting, she said she will formally ask staff to look into the possibility of forming some dispensary regulations. Atkins said she thinks that if the city keeps the dispensaries tightly regulated, the city will benefit.

Other cities, she said, are estimating that they've been able to raise between $500,000 and $1.5 million through medical marijuana dispensary taxes.

But officials in Arcata, which currently has four dispensaries operating, said the city has encountered some difficulties in benefiting from those taxes.

Arcata's Finance Director Janet Luzzi said her records show one of the four paid all of its sales tax. Arcata is supposed to receive 1 percent of the sales tax businesses report to the state Board of Equalization, she said. In the last few years, the state has reported sales tax from two of the dispensaries, and one of those paid only a small amount, she said....

Like I've been saying, what are the unintended consequences? More government, probably a whole new form of CAMP in order to enforce the tax laws. Will they need to be armed?

It's not just taxes at the clinic level - it's income taxes on the growers, the middle men, the dealers... in short, what the rest of society has been living under, now so too will the pot growers. It's fair. And it is right.

Note: Funny, I hadn't read the Journal when I put up this headline, but their cover story starts out with the same sentiment - The Times They Are A Changin' - It's now online ◼ When Weed is Legal Taxed, regulated marijuana sales might help save the state's economy, but will it ruin ours?

Pardon the use of Bob Dylan's chorus-cum-cliché, but it's the truth: The times they are a-changin'....

Gallegos gets a quote in there (of course)

In this article, Eric Heimstadt nails the key point, though - Eric Heimstadt, who owns another Arcata dispensary -- Humboldt Medical Supply, LLC -- said there would be repercussions to legalization that few people have considered. He, for one, does not believe Big Tobacco's presence would depress marijuana's market value, simply because major corporations can be counted on to keep prices as high as the market will bear. The real risks to small-time growers, he said, will be the host of regulations that will accompany legal production. "You'll be dealing with zoning laws, Health and Safety [codes], the IRS, the Ag Bureau, USDA, FDA. One dog walking through a drying or cooling room spreads thousands of E. coli bacteria just wagging its tail," he said. All the rinky-dink hippy growers would need to become licensed employers, documenting their labor practices, filing paperwork for all their trimmers, establishing sanitary, dedicated work spaces -- the list goes on. "That's something none of the activists have thought of," he said. "We can beat [Big Tobacco's] prices, but can we beat their code compliance?"...

Question is - will the price drop to match a pack of cigarettes? A bottle of wine? Will demand keep it high? Will the government step in and mandate high prices in order to protect local economies? Wouldn't that be rich?

Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense
Carlos Santana wishes Obama would legalize pot


  1. A while back, on my blog, I mentioned what a friend of mine told me a couple decades ago. He's a retired cop now. He said the only reason drugs aren't legal is the government hadn't figured out how to tax them.

    Some apparent conservative guy commented that I was full of crap for suggesting it. All this recent news about governments of all sizes wanting to cash in on the drug trade makes me feel I am vindicated.

  2. You are vindicated, Fred.

    I wrote on Kym's blog that I wondered how taxation would be implemented? Would people be taxed if they grew their own? One can make their own beer and wine at home without being taxed. Would it be the same for marijuana?

    At least there is a dialogue.

  3. As I mentioned elsewhere, I think we'll be seeing a resurgence of the old Prohibition style "revenuers", when all is said and done. That assumes they actually legalize it.

  4. :), Yep, Fred, you've been right all along!

    Carol, I think you are right, you'll be able to freely grow your own, just as you can make your own wine and beer, and grow your own carrots, etc.

    I assume the hemp market will expand as well, though it is hard to tell how much of that market is the rebellious "I want pot legalized" dynamic, and whether it will still be fun, hip and cool when it isn't risky business.

  5. One of my best friends when I was a kid said he'd never smoke pot if it was legal.

  6. Those bastards. They're going to put mresquan out of business.

  7. That's why I manufacture crack instead!!Although I feel guilty a bit about giving it you your mother when she was pregnant with you.

  8. MrKonkler, this isn't an article about crack. This is an article about POT, the only keyword Rose used is POT, and this offends you since you illegally sell POT.

  9. Haven't everybody? Where've you been, anon 1:47? Out snitching again for your paycheck?

  10. No need to rag on Mark. He's a good guy, and he is welcome here. I would appreciate it if the conversation was kept civil.

  11. Charles said"This is an article about POT, the only keyword Rose used is POT, and this offends you since you illegally sell POT."

    Got proof?Got nothing to go on,so you grasp at straws,it's really funny.I get a kick out of it all.

  12. I'm wondering if I have a potential goldmine or nothing with the fact I own the name "California Kush" with my 30 year-old California Kush incorporation papers. Anyone interested in making a gazillion dollars? Get in on the ground floor with Humboldt County's premium legal marijuana corporation. Shares available now so don't delay. Contact me today at: Just kidding but really I do have a marijuana corporation ready to go and you know me, if it happens, it will be kosher all the way through, no chemicals and no corporate greedos allowed.

  13. Get your logo and packaging ready to go. This thing is going to happen.

  14. I was just reading how a company, Medical Marijuana, Inc. is going public. Maybe we should get in on the ground floor.

  15. Unbelievable?!?!?!

    I'm ashamed to be from Humboldt County.


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