SLO County marijuana tax to go on June ballot

March 8, 2018

Following a decision made by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, county voters will decide on a marijuana business tax measure that will appear on the upcoming June ballot. [Cal Coast Times]

Though the county has yet to grant approval for any marijuana businesses, the board of supervisors voted to send a pot tax measure to the voters. If passed, the initiative would tax marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county starting at a rate of 4 percent of gross receipts.

The tax rate would be slated to automatically increase 2 percent every fiscal year until reaching the maximum rate of 10 percent on July 1, 2020. However, the board of supervisors could vote to stop the increases and cap the rate at a certain level.

Additionally, the tax rate could be adjusted for different types of marijuana businesses. One type of business, marijuana testing facilities, would be exempt altogether from the county pot tax.

If voters approve the measure, the 4-10 percent tax would be levied on top of a fixed-rate $9.25 state tax on every ounce of marijuana flowers sold and $2.75 on every ounce of marijuana leaves, as well as a 15 percent state excise tax on other cannabis business activities.

Revenue raised from the local tax would go to SLO County’s general fund. County officials say the money is needed to cover planning, code enforcement and other costs related to marijuana businesses.

County Tax Collector Jim Erb has said that, according to a consultant, the marijuana tax could generate $1.4 million to $28 million a year.

Some critics of the tax measure have expressed concern it will cause marijuana consumers to purchase more pot from the black market. Simultaneously, over the first couple month of California’s marijuana business licensing program, the state has received hundreds of complaints, many of which have come from newly licensed pot businesses saying illicit cannabis operations are cutting into their market share.

California’s upcoming primary election, in which the SLO County ballot measure will appear, is scheduled for June 5.


Maybe the general fund money should go to medical services, mental health services, health promotion, and NOT more policing businesses? How about we build some AFFORDABLE HOUSING (NOT 500k) so that the mechanic, the phlebotomist, the garbage man can actually have a decent place to live?

If we are going to tax people to death, can we at least take basic human care of them while we do it? Just a thought.

Ben Daho

WE THE PEOPLE voted. Who the fuck is stopping the will of the people?

Rob Stevens

Definition of a “Black Market” : When a willing buyer and a willing seller of a good or service come together, agree on price, and then an exchange is made within a political jurisdiction in which this transaction is forbidden.


How come mothers against everything aren’t protesting this, they do for everything else,Ciggys,Booze,Diablo,and any other cause they can.


“Some critics of the tax measure have expressed concern it will cause marijuana consumers to purchase more pot from the black market.”

How stupid can people be to think that dealers who’ve operated as outlaws for decades will suddenly go above board and fork over their profits to the government?


If legalizing pot doesn’t raise the tax collections as much as anticipated, or make even a slight dent in what this community will be losing when Diablo and its high priced workers are gone, what next?


So the prohibition continues….

No sales allowed, but when it comes to lining the city coffers, it’s all but complete.

Voters voted for legalization, didn’t they?

Well f’ing legalize it.


What a SNAFU but what’s new. With a spread of $26.6 million in tax benefits it appears that they really have no idea of what they are doing. And if it is the $28 million we all know where that will go and the citizens of the county will see no financial benefit at all with any type of tax or fee relief. I’m personally against the marijuana law although it was passed by a vote and now we have it. Incredible that a portion of this law relates to medical marijuana and then you see all of the taxes that will be levied on it. It appears to be just as bad as the pharmaceutical companies ripping us off. But what’s new?


If there is no risk to the consumer, why would he buy the more expensive, taxed and regulated pot, then the cheaper black market version? The tax revenue remains to be seen.


..and by the way, isn’t Jim “Erb” the most appropriately named medical marijuana tax collector ever? You go Jim.


Maybe it’s the same logic that thinks if you make certain guns illegal that all the criminals that have them will turn them because they don’t want to break the law??????


I’m voting no because it will be as whack-a-mole futile on the enforcement end as prohibition. That, and I enjoy watching liberal local governments crash and burn from financial mismanagement.