Oakland might license, tax indoor marjiuana growers
June 2, 2010
Oakland is currently facing a $42 million shortfall. So is anyone surprised at the news that city officials are considering a plan to sanction and tax commercial pot growing operations? [AP]
After becoming the first U.S. city to impose a special tax on medical marijuana dispensaries, Oakland might take the next big step. Two council members are preparing legislation, expected to be introduced in June, that would allow at least three industrial-scale growing operations.
One of the bill’s authors, Councilman Larry Reid, freely admits the move is more about money than embracing pot. The medical marijuana tax is already bringing in an estimated $1 million per year.
Supporters believe this new tax would yield even more revenue. One of the companies seeking a grower’s license from the city–AgraMed, Inc.–believes they can add $2 million to the city’s coffers each year.
Other supporters believe that commercial marijuana growing would bring new jobs to Oakland. The local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has already signed up about 100 medical marijuana workers. The growers are expected to have union shops, as well.
One marijuana expert, author Ed Rosenthal, believes the city’s positive attitude towards marijuana dates back to the 1970’s when a large block of activists first moved to town.