Courtesy of DrugSense.org, California City & County Regulation Watch and CANORML is the November 2018 Cannabis Voter Guide. Please note that this voter guide is NOT intended to instruct potential voters on how to vote. The November 2018 Cannabis Voter Guide is simply a list compiled to help you make the best decision for you.
No state official has done more to champion legal marijuana than Democratic frontrunner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. A longtime advocate of drug harm reduction, Newsom convened a Blue Ribbon Task Force on legalization that served as a blueprint for Prop 64, which he backed strongly. Some worry that Newsom is partial to big-money interests. As of last July, he had received over $300K in donations from the cannabis industry. Newsom has a history of leadership on other social issues, most notably gay marriage, which he championed as Mayor of San Francisco, as well as gun control and single-payer health care. Newsom has dealt with personal issues, including a bout with alcohol and cocaine addiction, but has recovered with impressive dynamism reminiscent of JFK.
Republican businessman James Cox made news when he said, “I’d like to go to the Portugal system where they actually put people who use marijuana in hospitals and cure them of their substance abuse. I’m not interested in jailing recreational marijuana users, and I’m certainly for medical marijuana.” He now says, “I’m not necessarily demanding that it [hospitalization] be done with regard to cannabis.” Among other nutty ideas, Cox has proposed that California be governed by a 12,000 – person “citizens legislature.”
Incumbent Xavier Becerra was appointed by Gov. Brown to fill the seat of Sen. Kamala Harris. Since taking office, Becerra has aggressively moved to protect California’s interests against federal interference. Admitting to have tried pot “at a younger time,” he has vowed to protect the state’s legalization law against federal intrusion by A.G. Jeff Sessions. Becerra represented downtown L.A. in Congress from 1993 to 2017, where he posted an excellent voting record on drug and criminal justice reform, without taking an active role in advocating for them.
The Republican challenger is Stephen Bailey, a former judge running on a law-and-order platform who has called Becerra “soft on crime.” Asked by the Claremont Independent if he supports marijuana legalization, Bailey replied, “I think classifying marijuana as a schedule one is a mistake on the federal side. The reason for that is because schedule one assumes that there’s no medicinal value in that particular drug. I think that’s been proven incorrect. It also curtails research on marijuana in this case.”
He added, “Marijuana has changed over the last couple decades. The people who cultivate marijuana are good farmers, and have actually enhanced the percentage of THC in marijuana from in the 1960s—it might be roughly three percent—t’s now running at 18 to 22 percent. I have had kids in front of me from my time serving on juvenile court, that I had seen for a period of time, that became paranoid from using marijuana. Marijuana impairs the brain’s ability to function properly and it has a negative impact on a significant number of users. What we’ve done with the wholesale legalization of marijuana down to the recreational level is creating a long-term public health crisis.”
Asked whether he would defend Prop. 64, Bailey replied, “The voters passed Proposition 64. Whether I think it’s the best public policy is immaterial. As Attorney General, my duty is to defend the laws of the state and I intend to do that, whether I have reservations about marijuana or not.”
State Senator Ed Hernández (D-Asuza), has consistently voted well and thoughtfully on cannabis issues, medical and otherwise. An optometrist, he has taken a special interest in health care access and pharmaceutical drugs. Hernandez sponsored legislation to outlaw the dangerous synthetic marijuana substitute “Spice” and to raise the tobacco smoking age to 21.
His challenger Eleni Kounalakis, who won 24% of the vote in the primary to Hernandez’s 20%, is a former ambassador to Hungary (in the Obama administration). During the 2016 election cycle, she was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and part of Clinton’s foreign policy advisory team. When asked whether or not she supports medical or recreational legalization, her campaign responded, “California voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and Eleni believes that now we need to make sure that the implementation of the law protects the public, especially our kids. Regulations must be put in place for a wide-range of aspects, from ensuring products are properly labeled, to setting up a banking system which keeps the industry from operating on an all-cash basis. Legalization poses other new challenges to public safety that must also be addressed, including a possible increase in people driving under the influence. Eleni believes we can develop effective regulatory practices to address these problems by imposing taxes, ensuring strict identification for purchases, and proposing and supporting bills that are specifically designed to protect our kids, and the public at large.”
The Democrats have a fine candidate in State Controller Betty Yee. When serving on the Board of Equalization in 2009, Yee emerged as one of the first state officials to publicly advocate legally taxed and regulated cannabis. Yee actively courted the medical cannabis community, and enjoys wide support from both business and consumer interests.
The Democrats have another fine candidate in Fiona Ma, who like Yee before her now serves on the Board of Equalization from San Francisco. Upon joining the board, she took a serious interest in the cannabis industry, talking to farmers and touring businesses to figure out how they could best be integrated in California’s legal economy. Like Treasurer Chiang, she has struggled to figure out how to provide banking services to cannabis businesses so they can stop having to deal in cash. Her efforts have won her support from the cannabis community.
During her long career in public office, incumbent Dianne Feinstein has been a staunch opponent of all things marijuana. Though praised as a moderate on other issues, Feinstein has been one of the Senate’s leading drug warriors, vociferously opposing Prop. 215 and 64, and using her power on the Senate Judiciary Committee to block rescheduling, water down sentencing reform, impose tougher penalties against drugs and their users, and criminalize more drugs. Shamefully, Sen. Feinstein was the only Democrat on the Judiciary Committee to vote against an amendment to prohibit Attorney General Jeff Sessions from interfering in California’s medical marijuana law, and another to protect banks from being prosecuted for serving the cannabis industry. Her stubbornness has led many Californians to think she is too old and out of touch for the job. In a stunning move, the state Democratic party declined to endorse her at its convention.
Finally, in a stunning announcement one week before the start of primary voting, Sen. Feinstein announced that she is shifting her position and would drop her opposition to legal cannabis. Feinstein’s views are said to have been changed by meeting constituents, especially those with young kids who have benefited from medical cannabis. “Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law,” said Feinstein. Sen. Feinstein is now a co-sponsor of the STATES Act, which would amend federal law to legalize actions that are legal under state marijuana laws. This is a welcome if long overdue act by the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, though many voters are asking themselves whether it is too little, too late.
State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D- L.A.) is Feinstein’s challenger. De León is campaigning from the progressive left as an energetic, young advocate for protecting immigrants, the environment and clean energy, and other progressive issues. In the legislature, De León was not a vocal leader on drug or criminal justice reform, but consistently voted right. Just before Feinstein’s about-face, de León announced that he would back Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. “Cory Booker’s bill recognizes that legal cannabis is the law of the land in California and many other states. More importantly, it corrects deep-rooted racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” he tweeted. Speaking at the State of Marijuana Conference in Long Beach, he promised, “I’ll be your champion in the fight to deschedule cannabis at the federal level, so we can strengthen the Golden State’s flourishing cannabis industry.”
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
California is a prime battleground in the struggle for control of Congress. Although most districts are sure wins for incumbents, Democrats have mounted strong challenges in several currently Republican seats. San Franciso’s Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who stands in line to become Speaker if the Democrats flip the House, has made it known she thinks marijuana reform should be an important Congressional priority. On the other hand, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the top candidate for Speaker if the Republicans hold the House, has consistently opposed cannabis reform bills in Congress. California’s Democratic delegation has consistently voted well on marijuana issues, while most Republicans have voted poorly. Three notable Republican exceptions are Dana Rohrabacher (O.C.), Tom McClintock (Tahoe), and Duncan Hunter (San Diego), all of whom are strong conservatives who have co-sponsored bills to end federal cannabis prohibition.
KEY CONGRESSIONAL RACES:
Most districts are sure wins for incumbents; some key or contested districts are:
4th C.D. – Roseville/El Dorado Co.- Incumbent Republican Tom McClintock is a rock-ribbed, small-government conservative who opposes federal interference in California’s marijuana laws. He co-sponsored an amendment that would have barred the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state adult-use legalization laws. His opponent is Democrat Jessica Morse, whose views are unknown.
8th C.D. – Mono/Inyo/SBd County – This all-Republican race has former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly challenging incumbent Paul Cook, who has a dismal “F” voting record. Donnelly, a hard-core Tea Party conservative, sponsored drug decriminalization legislation in the Assembly to help reduce prison overcrowding, although he opposed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act to legally license medical marijuana production.
10th C.D. – Modesto/Manteca – Incumbent Republican Jeff Denham is a social conservative with an atrocious voting record. His opponent is Democrat Josh Harder
21nd C.D. – Bakersfield/Kings/Fresno- Incumbent Republican David Valadao co-sponsored a hemp bill, but has voted against every marijuana reform measure and opposes recreational legalization. HIs opponent, Democrat TJ Cox, is in favor of legalization.
22nd C.D. – Fresno – Incumbent Republican Devin Nunes, a social conservative with an “F” voting record on marijuana, is notorious outside this Republican-leaning district for his partisan mishandling of the Russian investigation. His Democratic opponent, former prosecutor Andrew Janz, supports taking cannabis off Schedule One and re-doing the federal sentencing guidelines.
25th C.D. – Palmdale/Santa Clarita – Incumbent Republican Steve Knight has a mediocre voting record, having opposed the Rohrbacher-Farr and McClintock-Polis amendments to protect California’s marijuana laws from federal interference, while supporting medical use by veterans and saying it should be reclassified to Schedule III. He is opposed by Democrat Katherine Hill, whose campaign says she supports California voters’ decision to legalize marijuana and likewise federal legislation to protect it.
39th C.D. – Fullerton – In this open seat formerly held by Republican Edward Royce, former Naval officer and lottery winner Gil Cisneros (D) faces former legislator Young Kim (R). Kim has a poor voting record, except on more recent regulatory bills, and she opposed Prop. 64. According to VoteSmart, Cisneros supports recreational marijuana legalization.
45th C.D. – Irvine – Incumbent Republican Mimi Walters has a NORML “D” rating in Congress and was on DPFCA’s State Senate Hall of Shame. She faces Democrat Katie Porter, a consumer protection lawyer and former student of Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law, who expressed “strong support” for marijuana reform measures on Cal NORML’s candidate questionnaire.
48th C.D. – Republican Dana Rohrabacher has been a leading champion for cannabis in Congress, being the co-sponsor of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (or -Farr) Amendment that currently bars the U.S. Dept. of Justice from spending funds to undermine state medical marijuana laws. Rohrabacher is also facing criticism over what he claims were innocent meetings with Russian officials implicated in the Mueller investigation. His Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, is solid on marijuana issues, having responded positively regarding all aspects of marijuana legalization on a Cal NORML candidate questionnaire.
49th C.D. – Oceanside/Dana Point – Vying for Darrell Issa’s vacant seat are BOE member Diane Harkey (R) and Attorney Mike Levin (D). Harkey had a lousy voting record when she was in the Assembly. From her position on the BOE she opined, “The cannabis initiative pads the pockets of the industry participants, funds a growing bureaucracy, promotes the products and, when considering the potential cost or unintended consequences, has very little direct benefit to our existing state budget. If all goes according to plan and marijuana becomes our new ‘cash’ crop replacing existing agriculture, California could be on its way to establishing the next big tobacco industry and the first banana republic in the nation.”
50th C.D. – San Diego – Embattled incumbent Duncan D. Hunter, who is fighting an indictment for misusing campaign funds, is one of the few Republicans who has taken a strong stance for marijuana reform. He co-sponsored the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015” the CARERS Act, and Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act. He has also been a proponent of e-cigs and vaporizers. Hunter won an “All-Star” rating from the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals. So did his opponent, Democratic party activist and businessman Ammar Campa Najjar, who says he will work “proactively” toward national cannabis reform if elected.
Other Pro-Reform Congress Members who have co-sponsored legalization bills, but aren’t in competitive races::
Dist. 01 – N. Coast – Jared Huffman (D)
Dist. 09 – Antioch – Jerry McNerney (D)
Dist. 13 – Oakland – Barbara Lee (D)
Dist. 15 – Pleasanton –Eric Swalwell (D)
Dist. 17 – Santa Clara – Ro Khanna (D)
Dist. 18 – Palo Alto – Anna Eshoo (D)
Dist. 19 – San Jose – Zoe Lofgren (D)
Dist. 24 – Santa Barabara/SLO – Salud Carbajal (D)
Dist. 30 – LA Valley – Brad Sherman (D)
Dist. 33 – LA – Ted Lieu (D)
Dist. 46 – Santa Ana – Lou Correa (D)
Dist. 47 – Long Beach – Alan Lowenthal (D)
Few seats are expected to change hands in the state legislature, which is firmly controlled by the Democrats. By and large, Democrats have voted well and Republicans poorly on cannabis-related issues, but this isn’t true in all cases (for example Palmdale AD 36 and San Bernardino AD 40).
(Click here for 2017-18 DPFCA Voting Scorecard of all incumbent State Senators and Assemblymembers. Listed below are candidates running in this year’s election.)
KEY LEGISLATIVE RACES
District 8 (Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne) – Republican contender and Fresno county supervisor Andreas Borgeas does not support the use or sale of marijuana. He faces Democrat Paulina Miranda.
District 12 (Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus) – Assemblywoman Anna Caballero has a good voting record. She faces Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress.
District 16 (Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, Tulare) – Democratic archeologist and activist Ruth Musser-Lopez faces former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R), who has a dismal voting record.
District 22 (Los Angeles) – Assemblyman Mike Eng, who has a good voting record, faces fellow Democrat Susan Rubio.
District 32 (Los Angeles, Orange) – Democrat Bob Archuleta, a Pico Rivera City Councilman, faces Republican attorney Rita Topalian.
Other Senators with notably good records, but not in competitive races:
Dist 02 (North Coast) – Mike McGuire (D)
Dist 10 (Fremont) – Bob Wieckowski (D)
Dist 18 (LA/Van Nuys) –Robert Hertzberg (D)
Dist 30 (LA) – Holly Mitchell (D)
AD 15 – Berkeley/Oakland – Two Democrats are running in this race. Richmond Councilmember Jovanka Beckles is running a progressive, “people-powered” campaign. Her platform advocates criminal justice reform: “Mass incarceration must be ended, drug offenses should result in rehabilitation, not imprisonment, and the use of illegal drugs should be decriminalized.” Her opponent, Obama aide and campaign organizer Buffy Wicks, is endorsed by Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris and also has favorable views on criminal justice reform.
AD 36 – Palmdale – Incumbent Assemblyman Tom Lackey has been the leading Republican sponsor of legislation to advance the legal licensing of cannabis, including a bill to lower Prop. 64 taxes in order to help the licensed industry compete against the black market. His opponent, former Assemblyman Steve Fox, posted the worst voting record of any Democrat in the legislature, an atrocious 0% in 2013/4.
AD 40 – San Bernardino – Republican Henry Nickels, the Mayor Pro Tem of San Bernardino City, has worked constructively with the cannabis industry to try to establish local regulations. His opponent, Democrat James Ramos, has opposed cannabis licensing efforts as a member of the county board of supervisors.
AD 42 – Yucca Valley– Like most of his fellow Republicans, incumbent Chad Mayes has a sub-par voting record. His opponent, DeniAntoinette Mazingo, has expressed support for Prop. 64 and protecting the rights of medical marijuana patients, and is endorsed by the Brownie Mary Democratic Club.
AD 76 – Oceanside: Two Democrats are vying for the seat of outgoing Asm. Rocky Chavez. Elizabeth Warren (no relation) supports both adult and medical use of cannabis, which she calls a “wonder plant.” The views of her opponent, Tasha Boerner Horvath, aren’t known.
Other Assembly Members with notably positive records, but not in competitive races:
Dist 13 (Stockton) Susan Eggman (D)
Dist 18 (Oakland) Rob Bonta (D)
Dist 20 (Hayward) Bill Quirk (D)
Dist 27 (San Jose) Ash Kalra (D)
Dist 59 (LA) Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D)
Dist 64 (Carson) Mike Gipson (D)
- Berkeley City Council District 4 – Kate Harrison has a good record on the council.
- Emeryville City Council – Dianne Martinez recommended by local advocates.
- Fremont City Council District 2 – Cullen Tiernan favors licensed cannabis sales; CC District 3: David Bonaccorsirecommended by local advocates.
- Hayward Mayor – Barbara Halliday; Councilmember – Aisha Wahab recommended by local advocate
- Newark City Council – Mike Bucci recommended by local advocates
- Oakland City Council District 4 – Local advocates recommend both Sheng Thao, Chief of Staff for pro-cannabis At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and Matt Hummel, Chair of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.
- San Leandro City Council District 1- Deborah Cox; CC District 3 – Victor Aguilar; CC District 5 – Corina Lopez recommended by local advocates.
- Union City Council – Harris Mojadedi recommended by local advocates.
- Chico – Cannabis supporters Alex Brown, Rich Ober, and Scott Huber are running for city council.
- Oroville – Marlene del Rosario, Art Hatley, and Jack Berry (a mix of progressives and conservatives) are supportive candidates. Also, as per Jessica MacKenzie, Vice Mayor and councilmember Janet Goodson is running for mayor and also supports the ordinances.
Fifth District supervisorial candidate Ben Stopper has support of local activists, as does Third District candidate Marist Calloway. For sheriff, Rick DiBasilio is the favored candidate.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Advocates are still struggling to win local approval for licensed cannabis providers in this county that voted 61% for Prop 64.
- Concord City Council District 2 – Candidate Kenji Yamada favors licensed adult use cannabis sales.
- Walnut Creek City Council – Candidate Iman Novin favors licensing cannabis outlets in the city.
EL DORADO COUNTY
South Lake Tahoe – Cannabis activist Cody Bass is running for City Council on a platform to support local businesses and youth programs.
Dana Point – In the District 1 city council race, Amy Foell says, “It’s about time marijuana became legalized for recreational use just like alcohol. Dana Point has been prudent to restrict recreational operations within city limits. However, we should permit delivery service and cultivation for residents.” Her opponent Joseph “Joe” Jaeger does not support marijuana-related businesses in the city of Dana Point and Joe Muller did not support Prop 64.
Napa City Council – Medical cannabis advocate James Hinton is one of five candidates running for two spots on city council. “The city needs to permit adult use and marginalize the black market” he says.
Portola – Cannabis advocate Kimberly Anne Scales-Scott is running for City Council. Read more.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
Supervisor District 4: Former DA Bonnie Dumanis, infamous for her zealous prosecution of medical cannabis cases, is opposed by Democrat Nathan Fletcher, who has the support of the San Diego Association of Cannabis Professionals.
Supervisor District 5: Michelle Gomez would like to reverse the county’s ban on cannabis facilities.
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Lompoc Mayor: Jim Mosby (Current City Council Member with 2 years left on term) voted for “open market,” voted for no caps on cannabis businesses, voted to permit cannabis lounges/on-sight consumption, voted to allow for personal grows outdoor or indoors up to 6 plants (recreational). Voted originally for no local taxes on cannabis. Voted No tax on local medical cannabis. Opponent Jennelle Osborne is pro-cannabis but advocated for limited amount of cannabis businesses, advocated for lottery system for “limited market” as opposed to an “open market,” voted for on-sight consumption/lounges, advocated to only allow 2 or 3 plants to be grown outside personally (recreational). Advocated and voted for several local taxes. Voted No local tax on medical cannabis.
City Council District 2: Victor Vega (incumbent) same record as Mosby.
City Council District 3: Dirk Starbuck: same record.
Vallejo – Cannabis advocate Hakeem Brown is running for city council.
LOCAL BALLOT MEASURES
County measures affect only unincorporated areas, not cities within the county.
asks, “To protect essential municipal services, including repairing public facilities, reducing traffic congestion, and improving pedestrian and bicycle safety; and to support regulation of the cannabis industry, and preserve the City of Emeryville’s long-term financial stability, shall the ordinance to impose a business tax of up to 6% of gross receipts on all cannabis businesses within Emeryville?”
City Business Tax
Measure V would amend the marijuana business tax law to: allow marijuana business to deduct the cost of raw materials from their gross receipts and to pay taxes on a quarterly basis; and allow the city council to amend the law in any manner that does not increase the tax rate (including lowering taxes). Endorsed by Cal NORML.
reads, “To maintain/enhance essential city services including 911 dispatch/neighborhood police patrols/emergency response times; after-school programs for children/teens; keeping fire stations open full time; and other essential services shall a measure be adopted establishing a Union City cannabis business tax at a maximum rate of $12.00 per square foot for cultivation and 6% of gross receipts for others, until ended by voters, providing $1,400,000 annually, requiring oversight and no money for Sacramento?”
asks, “To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads and recreation, shall the City of Oroville adopt an ordinance authorizing an annual Cannabis Business Tax on cannabis businesses upon their gross receipts at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rates of 5% on retailers, manufacturers, and cultivators; 3% on distributors and nurseries; 0% on testing laboratories; and 8% on microbusiness estimated to generate $300,000 to $600,000 annually until repealed by the voters?”
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Measure R asks: “Shall the County tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses in the unincorporated area at annual rates up to $7.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation) and up to 4% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses including retailers, to generate an estimated $1.7 to $4.4 million annually to fund general County expenses such as public safety, health services, and environmental protection, and levied until repealed by the voters or Board of Supervisors?” Endorsed by Contra Costa NORML.
DEL NORTE COUNTY
“Shall Del Norte County establish taxes upon commercial cannabis activity in the following amounts: 2-6 percent of the gross receipts of a non-medicinal cannabis retailer, 1-3 percent of the gross receipts of a cannabis manufacturer, $1 per square foot of outdoor cultivation area and $3 per square foot of indoor cultivation area?”
EL DORADO COUNTY
El Dorado County has five different measures on the ballot; in addition, the city of Placerville has its own measure.
- Measure N would regulate and impose a general tax on commercial cannabis activity at rates up to: $30 per square foot or 15% for cultivation; 10% for distribution, manufacturing, and retail; and 5% for testing laboratories
- Measure P would allow for outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) commercial cannabis cultivation for medicinal use on parcels of at least 10 acres that are restricted in canopy size, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
- Measure Q would allow for outdoor and mixed-light (greenhouse) commercial cannabis cultivation for recreational adult use on parcels of at least 10 acres that are restricted in canopy size, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
- Measure R would allow for the retail sale, delivery, distribution, and indoor cultivation of commercial cannabis for medicinal use on parcels that are restricted in number and concentration, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
- Measure S would allow for the retail sale, delivery, distribution, and indoor cultivation of commercial cannabis for recreational adult use on parcels that are restricted in number and concentration, required to pay a County commercial cannabis tax
Measure M says, “Shall the measure establishing a cannabis (marijuana) businesses tax at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 8% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council in order to fund general municipal expenses, be adopted?”
Measure A Marijuana business tax would allow the county to tax marijuana businesses at rates of up to $12 per canopy square foot and up to 10 percent of gross receipts for medical dispensaries and other marijuana businesses, with revenue dedicated to the city’s general fund and a community benefit fund. Endorsed by NORML advocates in Fresno.
Measure K seeks to place a 15 percent gross tax on sales of Cannabis cultivated locally and sold outside the area. It would also collect a 25-dollar-per-square-foot tax on facilities used for cultivation.
City of Imperial
would impose a cannabis tax not to exceed $10 per canopy square foot for cultivation, 6% of gross receipts for retail businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses.
Two measures are on the ballot in Kern; in addition, the cities of Arvin and Bakersfield have their own measures.
- The first county measure, sponsored by Jeff Jarvis and Heather Epps, would replace the county’s current ban on unincorporated area dispensaries with state regulations and guidelines on the industry. Commercial adult-use recreational sales and cultivation would still be banned, but medicinal sales and cultivation, testing, distribution and other activities would be allowed. Regulation would be done through ministerial land-use permits and levy a 7.5 percent business tax on operations.
- The second was brought forth by attorney Ben Eilenberg on behalf of the Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools, with the goal to regulate both commercial adult use and medical. Commercial businesses (except retail and testing), such as manufacturing, cultivation and distribution would be required to operate in one of two zones adjacent to the I-5 corridor in western Kern County. It would also cap the number of retail dispensaries to 35, require regulation via ministerial approval of land-use permits, with exception of retail outlets, which would need a conditional-use permit, and provides a mechanism for fees and taxes on cannabis activities, including a 5 percent tax on gross retail receipts.
Cannabis Tax Measure would establish a tax of up to 6% of gross revenues on commercial cannabis business operations, excepting cultivation, and a tax of up to $6 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis cultivation, as adjusted annually by CPI.
After 32,790 signatures were submitted to the city by Kern Citizens for Patient Rights, the November ballot will read, “Shall the measure amending the Bakersfield Municipal Code to allow medical marijuana storefront dispensaries, cultivation sites, manufacturers, distributors, and delivery operations with a valid permit, and which will impose a 7.5 percent excise tax that will last until terminated by voters, be adopted?”
reads, “Shall Article VII be added to Chapter 18 of the Lake County Code imposing a Cannabis Business Tax in the unincorporated areas of the county, which, as of January 2021, shall impose an annual tax of $1.00 per square foot for nursery cultivation, 4% of gross receipts on a cannabis dispensary, micro-business, or delivery business, and 2.5% of gross receipts on a cannabis manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, or other type of cannabis business?”
asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted imposing a Cannabis Business Tax of up to $3.00 per square foot of canopy space, per year for cultivators, and up to 8% on gross receipts of all other cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of Lassen County, with funds staying in the County general fund for unrestricted general revenue purposes?”
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Los Angeles (city)
Measure B, to establish a charter bank in the city, is said to be aimed at allowing banking for cannabis businesses.
Measure G asks, “Shall the ordinance be adopted to (1) allow and regulate cannabis (marijuana) businesses; (2) permit existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell and deliver recreational (adult use) cannabis; and (3) impose a new general tax of 2.5% of gross receipts from sales of non-medical cannabis, the revenues from which may be used for general city purposes, until repealed by voters, which tax is estimated to raise approximately $75,000-$ 150,000 annually?”
Measure CT: Commercial Cannabis Activity Tax. To fund general municipal expenses such as police, fire, roads, and recreation, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at an annual rate not to exceed 10% of gross receipts for all commercial cannabis activities conducted in the City which is expected to generate an estimated $1.2 million to $1.6 million annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council?
Measure PC, The Cannabis Business Tax Measure asks: Shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates up to $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation, and up to 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses?
Measure I – Would set initial tax rates of: $7 per square foot of canopy space in a facility that uses exclusively artificial lighting, $4 for mixed light, and $1 for nurseries. In addition, it would set taxes of (1%) on cannabis labs, 4% on retailers, 2% on distributors, and 2.5% on processing.
Measure V asks, “Shall the ordinance permitting operation in the City of Marina of certain cannabis businesses and establishing a business license tax for such businesses at rates not to exceed 5% of gross receipts, to continue until repealed by the voters and, according to proponents, potentially generating $40,000 to $200,000 annually be adopted?
Would tax cannabis businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses.
Measure B would impose a 2% tax on net profits from cannabis businesses, which can be raised at a rate of 1% per year by the city council for not more than four years. Keep Plumas Green site.
Measure O would impose a 10% tax on the gross receipts of cannabis retail businesses in city (with the tax continuing until repealed, and the rate potentially increasing to 15%).
Hemet (2 measures)
- Measure Y: Shall the privately proposed measure be adopted allowing an unlimited number of non-retail cannabis businesses in manufacturing zones without a city-issued discretionary approval, subject to limited separation requirements, giving certain cannabis business operators priority over others in establishing their businesses in the City, and taxing cannabis businesses at the rate of $10 / square foot of space used in connection with commercial cannabis activity, estimated to yield $1,000,000 in revenues annually and in perpetuity.
- Measure Z: Shall the City-sponsored measure be adopted establishing a tax on cannabis businesses at the maximum rates of 25% of gross revenues or $30 / square foot of cultivation space, which will apply to illegally operating businesses and, if action is taken after December 31, 2020 to permit cannabis businesses, will apply to legally-established cannabis businesses, estimated to generate at least $3,500,000 annually in perpetuity if cannabis businesses are permitted; and prohibiting cannabis businesses through December 31, 2020?
Measure L asks, “Shall the ordinance which legalizes retail cannabis sales and commercial cannabis activity in certain zones, imposes operational requirements, and imposes an annual general tax of up to $25 per square foot of space used for retail cannabis sales and up to $3 per square foot for space used for other commercial cannabis activity (potentially generating $196,875 annually from retail sales and an unknown amount from other commercial activity and continuing until repealed) be adopted?”
Shall an ordinance be adopted maintaining safe, clean public areas/improving local services including neighborhood police patrols, fire, 911 response; gang, youth violence prevention, after-school programs; combat robberies/burglaries; repair potholes; unrestricted general revenue purposes; by establishing a tax not exceeding 8% of gross receipts /$15 per square foot for cultivation, generating approximately $2,200,000 annually until ended by voters, with independent audits, public review, all funds used locally?
Shall the measure known as the COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA DISTRIBUTION AND MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS TAX MEASURE, estimated to annually collect $2.3 million from commercial marijuana distribution and manufacturing operations (through a maximum tax rate of ten cents for each $1 of proceeds), to be administered and implemented pursuant to Chapter 3.40 of Title 3 of the Perris Municipal Code, with no sunset clause, be adopted?
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
would impose a tax of up to $5 / sq. ft. utilized in connection with cannabis cultivation or nursery, subject to adjustment by the city council; and up to a maximum of 5% of gross receipts on cannabis processing, testing, distribution, retail, sale or delivery, etc.
would tax cannabis businesses up to 10% of gross receipts and up to $25 pet sq. ft. of cannabis cultivation.
would impose a cultivation tax on commercial cannabis cultivation of up to $15 per square foot; other cannabis businesses would pay a tax of 1%–6% of the proceeds.
San Bernardino (city) (2 measures)
would impose a cannabis cultivation tax of $7 per sq. ft. of canopy for artificial lighting; $4 for mixed-light; $2 for no artificial light; and $1 for nurseries. It would further tax 1% for cannabis testing labs, 2% for distributors, 2.5% for manufacturers, and 4% for retailers or delivery services.
would impose regulations on cannabis businesses, including allowing for fees to be imposed by the city, and establishing penalties for violating the ordinance. The measure was drafted by the city council in response to lawsuits brought against its 2016 measures N and O.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
Measure Q would impose a business license tax of at least 5%—and up to 15%—of gross receipts on cannabis (marijuana) businesses; and at least $5—and up to $25—per square foot on space dedicated to cannabis cultivation, to “raise an estimated $6,000,000 per year, until voters change or repeal it, to fund general City services, including enforcement efforts against cannabis business that are operating illegally.”
Measure V would allow the city to tax cannabis businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation and 6% of gross receipts for all other businesses, “generating an estimated $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 annually, to fund general municipal expenses including police and fire, roads, and recreation.”
Vista (3 measures)
- Measure Z, the “citizen measure,” would authorize the commercial storefront retail sales of medicinal cannabis by up to 11 retailers in the city, to be located in any of Vista’s commercial, industrial, business park, and mixed-use zoning districts; and impose a 7% special use tax on gross receipts.
- Measure AA, the “city council cannabis business tax,” would impose tax on marijuana cultivation at $14/square foot and gross receipts of marijuana businesses at rates not exceeding 8% on manufacturing and distribution; 10% on medicinal retail; 12% on adult-use retail; and 3.5% on testing.
- Measure BB, the “city council medicinal cannabis business ordinance,” would authorize only the commercial delivery of medicinal cannabis in the City of Vista by up to three non-storefront (delivery only) retailers, plus up to two product safety testing laboratories, limiting these business to industrial-type zones and authorizing and directing the City Council to establish licensing and operating regulations protecting public safety, health, security, and community welfare.
SAN FRANCISCO (CITY AND COUNTY)
Proposition D Marijuana Business Tax Increase would tax marijuana businesses with gross receipts over $500,000 at a rate between 1 percent and 5 percent, exempting retail sales of medical marijuana, and expanding the marijuana business tax to businesses not physically located in San Francisco. Opposed by the SF Chronicle, Sen. Wiener, and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of SF. Taxes cannabis at rates far higher than comparable businesses.
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY
Measure B reads: “To support early childhood education, drug prevention, literacy, and other programs for children and youth; public health; public safety and enforcement of cannabis laws; shall an ordinance imposing a special tax on commercial cannabis businesses in unincorporated San Joaquin County at a rate of 3.5% to 8% of gross receipts, with an additional cultivation Square Footage Payment of $2.00 per square foot of cultivation space annually adjusted by Consumer Price Index (CPI) thereafter, be adopted?”
Measure D would allow the City of Tracy adopt an ordinance establishing a special tax on cannabis businesses at annual rates, not to exceed $12.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjusted for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $35,000 to $100,000 annually to fund police and code enforcement services and that shall be levied until repealed by voters.
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
Measure B would impose a Cannabis Business Tax of up to 10% on gross receipts of cannabis businesses operating in unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County.
San Luis Obispo (city)
Measure F would establish a cannabis business tax up to 10% of gross receipts for retail and businesses and up to $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation.
Measure I would enact tax on cannabis-related activities of up to $20 per square foot for cultivation/processing; up to 10% of gross receipts for transportation; up to 15% of gross receipts for manufacturing, testing, and distribution; and up to 10% of gross receipts for dispensaries.
SAN MATEO COUNTY
would establish a tax of up to 10% for cannabis businesses that may be permitted in the future.
Half Moon Bay (2-5 measures?)
would impose taxes not to exceed $2-$10 per square foot for cultivation, and 6% of gross receipts for retail, 2.5% for testing, 3% for distribution, and 4% for manufacturing.
asks if existing commercial greenhouses in the city can be permitted for cannabis nurseries.
In addition, advisory measures Measure EE
, Measure SS
and/or Measure MM
ask voters about regulating and licensing cannabis businesses, limited to two retail facilities.
This measure will impose a maximum tax of 10% on all commercial cannabis activities in Redwood City, with initial rates set for various types of businesses.
asks: Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing an ongoing excise tax on any cannabis business that opens, up to 10% of gross receipts of each business?
South San Francisco
would permit taxation of up to 5% on gross receipts for cannabis businesses, with varying rates depending on the type.
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Measure Z asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing a Cannabis Business Tax on gross receipts of cannabis businesses from the sale of cannabis and related products, whether at wholesale or retail, at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rates of 5% (retailers), 2% (manufacturers), 4% (cultivators), and 1% (distributors and nurseries) estimated to raise $334,000 to $1,423,000 to fund general municipal services such as street repair, parks and police, until ended by voters?”
Measure D reads, “Shall a measure imposing a CANNABIS TAX of six cents per $1.00 of non-medical retail sales proceeds, one cent per $1.00 of cultivation proceeds, flat $15,000 for net income less than $2 Million and $30,000 for net income of $2 Million and more of manufacturing/distribution proceeds, a total aggregate tax of six cents per $1.00 of microbusinesses proceeds, no tax on testing, with no sunset clause, estimated to collect $130,000 to $470,000, annually, be adopted?”
Measure F asks, “Shall an ordinance be adopted establishing a cannabis business tax on gross receipts of cannabis businesses from the sale of cannabis and cannabis products, at a rate not to exceed 10%, with initial rate of 5% and a maximum annual increase of 1% up to the maximum rate, to fund general municipal services such as street repair, parks, and law enforcement, until ended by voters?
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Measure I would authorize the city to tax marijuana businesses at annual rates up to $15.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation and up to 10 percent of gross receipts for all other marijuana businesses.
Measure Q would allow the taxation of marijuana businesses up to 9 percent of gross receipts to fund general city purposes.
Santa Clara (city)
Measure M would authorize the city to tax commercial marijuana businesses up to 10% of gross receipts and up to $25 per square foot for cultivation.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Measure I would authorize the city to tax marijuana businesses at a rate of up to 7 percent to fund general city purposes.
Shall the City of Redding adopt a business tax on cannabis cultivation businesses up to $25 per square foot of cultivation area and on cannabis manufacturing, processing, laboratory testing, delivery, storage, distribution, and retail sale up to 10% of gross receipts, to enhance and maintain vital public safety services, reduce crime, and protect other general services with all funds to be spent for unrestricted general revenue purposes, generating approximately $750,000 annually?
Would impose a cannabis industry tax at a rate not to exceed up to $3.50 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flower, cannabis leaves, fresh cannabis plant, and up to 10% of gross receipts per quarter for other commercial cannabis businesses.
asks voters if an ordinance shall be adopted to “impose a Cannabis Industry Tax on the privilege of commercially cultivating, manufacturing, processing, storing, laboratory testing, labeling, packaging, distributing, or sale of cannabis and cannabis products?”
would impose a cannabis business tax at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for commercial cannabis cultivation (adjustable for inflation) and 6% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses.
Measure C would impose a local general tax on cannabis businesses at rates not exceeding 15% of gross receipts and $25 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis activities (annually adjusted by CPI).
Shall the Initiative Measure amending the Municipal Code to permit personal cannabis cultivation on all residential properties and establishment and operation of cannabis businesses within the City, including commercial cultivation, manufacturing, retail, delivery, distribution, testing, and special events be adopted?
Shall the measure adopting an ordinance authorizing the City Council of the City of Patterson to impose a business license tax at a rate of up to fifteen percent (15%) of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries, to help fund general municipal services, be adopted?
Measure B would impose a business license tax at a rate of up to ten percent (10%) of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries.
“Shall an ordinance be adopted authorizing a commercial cannabis business tax in the City of Lindsay on commercial cannabis businesses up to $25 per square foot (annually adjusted by CPI) or up to 10% of gross receipts, as set by City Council, to maintain essential public safety and general City services including, but not limited to, police, drug addiction and gang prevention, park maintenance, street maintenance for Lindsay residents, generating undetermined revenue, potentially up to $500,000 to $3.5 million until repealed?
Measure T would regulate and authorize medical cannabis cultivation through a permitting process; require security including cameras, inspections, odor control, record keeping, employee background checks; and limit locations to indoor and only in industrial or commercial zones and 600 feet from schools, day care centers and youth centers.
Measure G reads, “To fund general City services, including public safety, recreation, repairing and improving city streets, library services, and senior services, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $1.2 to $2.5 million annually?”
Measure N reads, “Shall the City of Santa Paula adopt an ordinance enacting a tax on cannabis businesses of up to $25.00 per square foot of space utilized for cannabis cultivation/processing, and up to 10% of gross receipts from the sale of cannabis and related products, potentially generating $500,000 annually for street repair, police enforcement and other unrestricted general revenue purposes, until ended by voters?”
Simi Valley (3 measures)
- Measure Q reads, “Shall the measure to fund, for unrestricted general revenue purposes such as public safety, infrastructure, and streets, which taxes cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% or less for all other cannabis businesses, generating an unknown amount of revenue and levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council be adopted?”
- Measure R says, “Shall the City Council allow marijuana-related businesses, such as cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing facilities, and deliveries to operate in the City?
- Putting the “seamy” in “Simi,” Measure S asks, “If the City allows marijuana-related businesses to operate in the future, should those businesses be limited to operate only in the City’s Sexually Oriented Business Overlay Zone?”
Measure P says, “To fund general municipal expenses such as police, roads, and libraries, shall the City tax cannabis (marijuana) businesses at annual rates not to exceed $10.00 per canopy square foot for cultivation (adjustable for inflation), 6% of gross receipts for retail cannabis businesses, and 4% for all other cannabis businesses; which is expected to generate an estimated $130,000 to $150,000 annually and will be levied until repealed by the voters or the City Council?