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San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approves suspending citywide cannabis tax

Nena B.
Flickr / Creative Commons

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance to suspend the city's Cannabis Business Tax through the end of next year, in an attempt to curb illegal marijuana sales.

According toSupervisor Rafael Mandelman, suspending the city business tax through the end of 2022 would help support legal cannabis retailers. He argued that dispensaries struggle to compete with illegal cannabis sellers, who pay no taxes. He said that the legislation will help create better working conditions for cannabis workers, as well as improve the quality of the cannabis on the market.

Mandelman, who wrote the bill, said increasing theft has also created problems for cannabis retailers. He added that the city “needs to do more to protect these businesses, their employees, and their customers before we hit them with a new tax."

Once the law goes into effect, Mandelman said his office will work with the City Controller's Office, the Treasurer and Tax Collector's Office, and the Office of Cannabis, among other stakeholders, to analyze data on cannabis business sales in the city.

The goal is to present the Board of Supervisors with a set of recommendations on tax rate and structure for cannabis retailers. The legislators hope to implement a new plan for 2023.