San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey To Introduce Marijuana Tax Measure

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey has announced he will propose a ballot measure that would impose local taxes on businesses that legally sell marijuana. This would add another measure to San Diego’s already crowded and November election ballot.

On Monday, Kersey will put a measure forward that would start the tax at 8 percent of gross receipts and could rise to 15 percent at council discretion. The tax, Kersey says, would help cover costs for code enforcement officers, police, and other city workers who monitor and regulate marijuana businesses.

Marijuana advocates have warned that excessive taxation of legal marijuana would inflate prices and perhaps encourage a robust black market for the drug.

Signatures are currently being counted for a statewide initiative to legalize marijuana in California. Kersey told David Garrick at the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“With the whole landscape changing, now is probably a good time to have this conversation. Legalizing recreational use will increase demand, so I think it’s likely you’ll also see an increased demand for these kinds of city resources to monitor and regulate this industry.”

The statewide recreational marijuana measure, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, would also impose a 15 percent state tax on retail sales of recreational marijuana.

So if voters approve both the state and local measures, marijuana sales would be subject to a 31 percent tax surcharge at legal recreational dispensaries in the city of San Diego.

Also of note, Microsoft Corp. announced thursday they are teaming up with California based “Kind”, which helps businesses and government agencies track sales of legalized marijuana “from seed to sale.”

IVN San Diego will cover the Kersey news conference on Monday.