Prop. 64 & Measure N: How Saying Yes to Pot in California Could Impact San Diego

San Diego, CALIF. – To be blunt, things are looking pretty good for California’s Prop 64.

The initiated state statute, which would legalize recreational marijuana use in California, has support from 58% of likely voters according to a statewide poll released this week. 37% of voters oppose it – a significant drop from the 53.5% of California voters who rejected a similar initiative just six years ago. The majority of supporters indicated that “finances” is the reason that “best describes” why they would approve Proposition 64.

Not surprisingly, 72% of existing pot users support Proposition 64. Support from non-users is split, however, with 46% supporting the measure and 48% opposing it. Interestingly, just 89% of this group said they are no more likely to smoke pot if Proposition 64 passes.

Locally, Measure N puts the City of San Diego in an advantageous position to capitalize on marijuana sales in the likely case that it’s legalized. The measure, crafted by the City Attorney’s office, would start by putting a 5% tax on recreational marijuana sales within the City of San Diego, increasing that number to 8% in 2019, and eventually moving as high as a 15% sales tax. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the initial 5% rate would bring in $22 million in annual sales taxes for San Diego.

Measure N is contingent on Prop 64 and will be moot if marijuana isn’t legalized.

If both initiatives pass, however, San Diego will be ready to collect.