Voters around California are weighing dozens of ballot measures that would impose taxes on marijuana businesses in different cities and counties. Oakland’s Measure V is unique, however, because it could lead to lower tax rates for marijuana businesses.
Oakland currently has one of the highest marijuana tax rates in the state. Combining city, county, and state taxes, businesses there face a tax rate of nearly 35%.
The tax is on all sides of the supply chain: from cultucation to testing to retail sails.
Marijuana entrepeneurs say these high taxes are making it difficult for them to compete with other cities, and pushing consumers into the black market. So, in response to alls for lower taxes, Oakland’s council unanimously voted to place Measure V on the ballot. Measure V is also backed by Oakland's Cannabis Regulatory Commissioner and Alameda County Treasurer. No one has publicly opposed this measure.
Measure V would allow the Oakland’s city council to lower those local tax rates. And it also says the council can’t increase recreational marijuana taxes above 10%. Businesses would be able to pay taxes quarterly rather than making one annual tax payment at the beginning of each year.
Oakland's City Auditor estimates it would cost about $30,000 to update the current taxing system.
So Oakland voters: if you want to allow the city council to lower tax rates for marijuana businesses, vote YES on Measure V. If you want to keep their tax rates and payment methods the way they are, vote NO.