An initiative allowing limited indoor commercial production of marijuana in Ventura County would generate $2.92 million annually in tax revenues and would not significantly boost crime, a study released Monday says.
The initiative on the Nov. 3 ballot allows up to 500 acres of pot cultivation in greenhouses and 100 acres for propagation of seedlings in nurseries in certain unincorporated areas.
But the analysis by an Orange County consultant estimates that only 220 acres or a third of that amount would actually take place because of the restrictions in the measure and existing land use.
Consultant HdL Companies, which conducted the county-ordered study at a cost of $21,500, also found:
- No significant effects on public safety, housing, employment and infrastructure.
- Even though the initiative requires growers to prepare an odor prevention plan using the best available technology, there is no requirement that odors be eliminated.
- A total of 72 jobs may be created with total payroll of around $3 million per year.
- The measure would not change zoning or result in construction of new greenhouses because it only allows production within “pre-existing” permanent facilities, although the term pre-existing is not defined.
- Treasurer-Tax Collector Steven Hintz has objected that collecting the tax revenues could expose the county to penalties because pot is still a prohibited drug on the federal level, but the study suggested another county agency could collect the funds based on experience in other counties.