GROVER BEACH, Calif. - The Grover Beach City Council has approved the wording of a ballot measure for November asking city voters to approve a tax on medical and recreational marijuana sales and cultivation within city limits.
If approved by voters in November, it would be the first municipal pot tax in San Luis Obispo County and would open the door to marijuana dispensaries and cultivation within city limits which are both currently prohibited.
The marijuana tax ballot measure has a 5% tax on medical marijuana sales in the city based on gross receipts.
Recreational marijuana sales and cultivation, if approved by California voters in November, would be taxed at 10% in addition to a 15% statewide tax included under Proposition 64.
Marijuana cultivation and nurseries would be taxed based on square footage of any city license issued. The first 5,000 square feet would be taxed at 25 dollars per square foot with the remainder taxed at 10 dollars per square foot.
Grover Beach City Council members spent Monday night working and agreeing on the specific wording for the ballot measure in November.
"It says the first five thousand square feet of canopy space, so the word canopy is not in the language of the initiative", City Council member Jeff Lee said.
Those in the medical and recreational marijuana industry waiting for the green light to do business in Grover Beach are watching the process closely.
"Is it where you are looking at both square footage and gross receipts on both businesses?(medical and recreational)", one speaker in the industry asked the Council, "so I don't know if there is any way to make that more specific."
"We certainly are prepared to have a very, very separate type of business proposal planned for you as it may with the consideration of having a dispensary here in your city", said another woman who works in the industry.
Its estimated the marijuana tax could generate between one and two million dollars in annual revenue for the City of Grover Beach.
"Voters feel like where is that money? It must be somewhere and its not there", said City Council member Mariam Shah, "I wonder if this thing of estimating, even my eyes jumped out, one to two million, maybe we should just say something like up to two million."
The Grover Beach marijuana tax ballot measure will require at least a two-third's majority approval by city voters to pass and become law.
Other Central Coast cities including Santa Barbara and King City are pursuing similar marijuana tax ballot initiatives.