Mobilizing Local Cannabis Tax Revenue in the COVID-19 Era (Non-CHLP)

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June 29, 2020
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11:00 am – 12:30 pm PDT / 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm MDT / 1:00 pm- 2:30 pm CDT / 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT


In 2018, 289, or 58% of California cities and counties legalized some form of commercial cannabis activity, including cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail or testing. Of those, at least 53% did not impose a local tax on cannabis, and the average gross receipts tax across activities was just 5%. In the era of COVID-19 when local budgets and staff are being severely cut, and critical social needs go unmet, reasonable local cannabis taxation could provide a much needed source of revenue. Amongst those who did levy a tax, little or no revenue was dedicated to community social needs, youth or prevention, while law enforcement budgets continued to rise.
 
Our speakers will discuss, at this time of shrinking local revenue due to the pandemic, where we stand on local marijuana taxation in California, sharing new research on how these products are being taxed and regulated in California’s 539 cities and counties, how to tax cannabis commerce locally, how current cannabis tax revenues are primarily benefitting law enforcement and offer some alternative approaches for capturing revenue to benefit youth and communitiesand meet local needs.
 
This Forum is recommended for local elected officials and policymakers (city council members, supervisors, fiscal staff, public health staff, social services), and community advocates for youth, public health or substance abuse issues.