Pot dispensaries, an answer to budget shortfalls?
January 30, 2012
Federal and city authorities continue to send conflicting messages to those Californians looking to open marijuana dispensaries. [SFChronicle]
This February, officials within the city of Oakland are expected to grant permits to four new pot shops, doubling the number of dispensaries in the city.
The city’s motivation behind granting the permits is partially finance-related. Oakland receives $60,000 in payment from each dispensary that the city grants a permit. Additionally, the city receives a five percent tax on the business each year.
Oakland rakes in nearly $1 million annually from marijuana dispensaries. And California as a whole makes more than 100 times that amount each year from such taxes.
Some local government officials are in favor of the new shops. “…The reality is that if we go ahead and issue the permits and make sure they (the dispensaries) are managed well, follow the rules and don’t become a nuisance to their neighbors, that is in the public’s interest,” Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente said to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Meanwhile, federal authorities continue the cannabis crackdown which is credited with eliminating more than 200 pot dispensaries throughout the state since fall 2011.
In November of 2011, a state appeals court decided that cities and counties have the power to ban marijuana shops within their jurisdictions. [LATimes]
“The recent decisions could give the state Supreme Court an opportunity to address critical issues that remain unsettled 15 years after voters made California the first state to allow medical use of marijuana,” the LA Times said. “Despite the state’s groundbreaking status, its medical marijuana program is the most tumultuous.”