Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will ask voters in November for authority to create a business tax related to commercial cannabis.
Different board members had various opinions about the matter. District Five Supervisor Karl Rodefer stressed that this was not a ballot measure to allow commercial cultivation, but to create a taxing mechanism, in the event that cultivation is someday allowed. He mentioned rumblings that the state could mandate that counties allow cultivation in the near future, and this would be a way to ensure the county could collect maximum revenue.
District Three Supervisor Evan Royce voiced the strongest support for the ballot measure, and felt that this is a step towards regulating and taxing the industry. He argued, “This board needs revenue for enforcement. If you don’t have enforcement, you have open reign for people to do anything they want.”
15 people came up to the podium to speak against the ballot measure, arguing that the county should avoid commercial cultivation at all costs, and this signifies a step towards allowing it. One of the candidates hoping to win Royce’s supervisor seat in November, Anaiah Kirk, was among the residents asking questions and raising concerns.
A single person spoke in favor of the ballot measure.
When the time came for a vote, it was 4-1, with District Two Supervisor Randy Hanvelt the sole opposition.
After the vote, a couple of members in the audience yelled out threats to the other four supervisors that they will regret the action, and one even stated the board could be recalled. Board Chair John Gray responded back to the heckler, “Is that a threat? Thank you.”