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