Newsletter #027 - Death and Taxes
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Hello Troublemakers,

My name is Ryan Munevar and I am the Executive Director of Monterey County NORML.

At the last Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting the public audience members were only given 1 minute to speak on a range of subjects regarding the proposed ordinances.

One of the ordinances in particular adds Chapter 7.100 to impose a general tax on cannabis businesses, starting at $15 a sq foot and going up to $25 by 2022, was slipped in right before the first reading.

Normally an item regarding taxes, especially one so epic, is discussed about at length for multiple meetings prior to having it entered for a public reading.

One of the planning commissioners working on the draft even expressed her frustration with the fact that Taxation was never covered in any of their meetings because they didn't have enough time.

Tomorrow there will be a second reading.

HDL Companies, the consultants the County contracted out to determine the range of tax options possible, claims that these taxes are on par with what other local and neighboring communities are going to implement. 

Places such as Watsonville, Greenfield, Hollister, etc...

Just take a guess as to whom recommended those rates to those communities as well.

HDL also forgot to mention a few other counties such as:
Yolo - $2 a sq foot
Humboldt -  $1 sq ft Outdoor, $2 Greenhouses, and $3 for Indoor

So here's a question for you.

Would you rather pay $15 a sq foot in Monterey County or $2 a sq foot in Yolo County?


The only way to compete with other areas is to set a low tax rate that allows us to establish infrastructure to develop a thriving white market for Cannabis in Monterey County.

Otherwise we lose all the best Cultivators, Manufactures, and Distributors such as what happened when the cut flower industry went elsewhere a few decades ago.

But don't take my word for it, just read the collection of documents we have assembled below and make your own decision.

-Ryan Munevar - 831.298.0655



Second Reading on Cannabis Ordinance and Taxes

Board of Supervisors Meeting

10:30 AM this Tuesday July 19, 2016

168 W. Alisal St. 1st Floor, Salinas, CA 93901


Agenda for Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Board Report.pdf

Attachment A - Discussion.pdf

Attachment B - Planning Commission Resolution.pdf

Attachment C - Coastal Commission Letter dated June 20, 2016

Attachment D - Negative Declaration.pdf

Attachment E-1 - Draft Inland Ordinance (Clean version).pdf

Attachment E-2 - Draft Inland Ordinance (Redline version).pdf

Attachment F - Draft Resolution of intent to adopt an ordinance.pdf

Attachment H - Ordinance adding Chapter 7.pdf

Attachment I - Ordnance adding chapter 7.pdf

Agenda Item 20

REF150048 (Chapter 7.90 and 7.95) and REF160043 (Chapter 7.100 - Tax) Public hearing to consider: a. Adoption of an ordinance adding Chapter 7.90 to the Monterey County Code to require an annual commercial medical cannabis permit for commercial medical cannabis activities; b. Adoption of an ordinance adding Chapter 7.95 to the Monterey County Code to require an annual personal medical cannabis permit for personal cultivation of one hundred square feet or less of medical marijuana exclusively for personal use; c. Adoption of an ordinance adding 7.100 to impose a County general tax on commercial cannabis businesses in the unincorporated area of the County of Monterey as of January 1, 2017; d. Adoption of a resolution calling an election for the voters in the unincorporated area of the County to consider adoption of an ordinance imposing a tax on commercial cannabis (marijuana) businesses, and consolidating that election with the statewide general election to be held on November 8, 2016.

Attachment I - Ordnance adding chapter 7.pdf


County Counsel Summary

This ordinance adds Chapter 7.100 to the Monterey County Code to impose a County general tax on commercial cannabis businesses in the unincorporated area of Monterey County as of January 1, 2017.

This ordinance establishes the following tax rates: for cultivation, the tax rate is $15per fiscal year per square foot of authorized canopy through June 30 2020, to increase to $25 per square foot by June 30, 2022, and to increase thereafter based on the Consumer Price Index; for nursery cultivation, the tax rate is $1.50 per square foot of authorized canopy through June 30, 2020, and to increase to $5 per square foot of authorized canopy through June 30, 2022, and to increase thereafter based on Consumer Price Index; and for all other commercial cannabis businesses, including dispensaries, manufacturing, testing, transporting,distributing, and delivery, the tax rate is five percent of the gross receipts per fiscal year through June 30, 2020, to increase thereafter by two and one-half percent per fiscal year, not to exceed a maximum tax rate of ten percent per fiscal year on gross receipts.

The tax applies to commercial medical cannabis business and if legalized under state law, to nonmedical cannabis or marijuana businesses.

Personal cultivation and personal use, as further delineated in the ordinance, are exempt from the tax.

The ordinance contains payment and reporting requirements and enforcement provisions and authorizes the County Treasurer-Tax Collector to administer the tax.

The tax is for general governmental purposes and will go into effect only if the tax is approved by a majority of the voting voting on the tax at an election.

Now to try and put this into perspective:

IF you had a half acre grow of 22,000 sq feet x $15 a sq foot a year that means you would be paying $330,000 for that one tax alone.

That's not even taking into account the 10% State Tax that is coming in 2017.

And by 2022 when it rises to $25 a sq foot that half acre tax will go to $550,000.

Now to calculate a single crops yield at roughly 20 grams per sq foot of canopy at22,000 sq feet you would get 440,000 grams, or 969 lbs, and if you were to sell them for $1,000 you would get $969,162.

Because of the absurdly high taxation being proposed Monterey County NORML suggests switching to a 5% Wholesale to Distributor Tax instead of the $15 -> $25 a sq foot tax.

Slack Channel: #team-events


HDL - Monterey County MMJ Fiscal Analysis FINAL 5-12-16 ad hoc.pdf

Slack Channel: #taxes



Nevada Tax Comparisons Powerpoint Presentation

Nevada Tax Comparisons.pptx

Slack Channel: #taxes


Colorado State Tax Study


New Frontier - Colorado Tax Study.pdf

Slack Channel: #taxes


Washington State Tax Website

Slack Channel: #taxes


Hash Church Episode XCV 95

Hash Church with Bubbleman every Sunday Morning from 9 AM to 12 Noon PST

Join us for Hash Church 95 tomorrow morning at 9am pacific mtn time. Where Chimera and Skunkman Sam have invited Fred Gardner , who is the Founder and Publisher of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice. His work with the publication led to Gardner co-founding Project CBD alongside fellow writer Martin A. Lee in 2010.

This is a community for HASH CHURCH which can be seen on YouTube every Sunday morning between 9 AM and High Noon Pacific Coast time.

YouTube Bubbleman

The Magazine for the Global Cannabis Community

Full Melt Bubble Forum

Hash Church Facebook Group

Slack Channel: #team-media


Monterey County Cannabis Appellations.pdf

NORML Public Drive Folder


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