Arlene Martinez, Ventura County Star | Published 10:55 a.m. PT Sept. 20, 2019
To stay competitive in an industry increasingly packed with players, Port Hueneme is reducing the costs of doing business for some marijuana-related activities.
On Monday night, the City Council voted to lower the amount a company must pay if it manufactures, cultivates or distributes marijuana, from 5% to 2% of gross profits.
Port Hueneme doesn’t have a city tax specific to pot, but it gets a certain percentage of sales as part of the development agreement. The city made the changes at the advice of its cannabis consultant, HdL Cos.
As of July 25, there were a total of 5,944 cannabis licenses statewide, according to Tim Cromartie Sr., a cannabis policy adviser with HdL. Many temporary licenses expired without being renewed because of a soft market that has fallen shy of state projections, he explained.
California taxes on marijuana are 25% on retail products, before Port Hueneme’s local fees. Once that hits 30%, the “pain point,” customers turn to the black market, Cromartie said.
The state has significantly reduced what it thought it would make from marijuana statewide, a combination of high taxes deterring would-be companies and many municipalities shutting the door on most types of business.