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Stanislaus County won’t have a cannabis tax on March ballot. Now shooting for Nov. 2024

Sacramento Bee

Stanislaus County officials announced Monday evening that the proposed cannabis business tax won’t be on the March 5 ballot.

A county news release referred to administrative requirements and deadlines for getting the tax measure on the March 5 primary ballot. The cannabis tax measure will be moved from March to the November 2024 election, the county said.

The county has proposed up to an 8% tax on retail cannabis shops in unincorporated areas.

If approved by a majority of voters, the new tax would replace the county fee requirements in development agreements with licensed operators.

The county has proposed an initial tax rate of 8% of gross sales for retail and 2.5% for nurseries, cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and testing. The initial rates are based on feedback from cannabis business owners. The county’s tax would not apply to dispensaries in cities.

About $2.5 million in annual revenue is anticipated if voters in November approve the tax measure. The general fund revenue could be spent for public safety, eliminating illegal marijuana grows, community improvements and drug prevention and treatment.

Many cannabis business owners have complained they can’t afford the fee structure in development agreements with the county.

The Board of Supervisors also considered a cannabis tax ballot measure last year but didn’t follow through, partly because of concerns it would conflict with Modesto’s sales tax increase, which was approved in November.