Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors took a step yesterday towards placing a measure on the November ballot related to the possible taxation of commercial cannabis.
It has been a hot button issue in the county. John Bliss, a marijuana consultant hired by the county, with the SCI Consulting Group, estimates that allowing commercial cultivation, and taxing the drug, could “conservatively” bring in around $1-million-$1.5-million, annually. He stated to the board, “We think there are lots of reasons that you guys should consider banning commercial cannabis activities, and we think there are lots of reasons you should consider allowing them. Tax revenue is one of them. It may not be even the primary one, but it is something you should consider.”
Given the costs to regulate commercial cannabis, he added, “It is not likely to change your financial situation here in the county. It is some nice revenue, but it is not a deal changer.”
The November ballot measure is expected to be more of an authorization to allow the board of supervisors to move forward, but not an ordinance allowing commercial cannabis, which the latter would have to be approved by the board at a later time. The move to direct staff to start drafting a ballot measure was approved unanimously. The supervisors are likely to continue to meet about the issue of marijuana, monthly, through at least August. The board also decided yesterday to disband its marijuana working group, which was an advisory entity, with all final decisions made by the supervisors.