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Good news for weed dispensaries
Good news for weed dispensaries
Employees with SafePort Cannabis Dispensary in Port Hueneme talk with attendees of a forum held earlier this year on the state of the industry in the city. (Photo: ARLENE MARTINEZ/THE STAR)

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.

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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.

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