US (CA): Cannabis tax rates

Cannabis’ role in filling public coffers became clearer at Tuesday’s El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting with the board voting to approve cannabis tax rates for the unincorporated areas of the county.

All together the board decided to tax retail at 4 percent of gross receipts, outdoor cultivation $2 per square foot, mixed-light cultivation $4 per square foot, indoor cultivation $7 per square foot, manufacturing 2.5 percent of gross receipts, distributor transport 2 percent of gross receipts, testing at .5 percent of gross receipts and nurseries at 4 percent of gross receipts.

Supervisors decided not to deviate from the cannabis tax recommendations the county’s ad hoc cannabis committee put forth. Besides lower than usual distributor and testing lab tax rates, county staff tried not to deviate too far from the median tax rates set forth by the 21 other California counties with a cannabis tax measure, according to Creighton Avila, deputy chief administrative officer for the county.

Still, some say the rates are too high.

Rod Miller, head of the El Dorado County Cannabis Growers Alliance, said he’d like rates similar to Humboldt County’s notoriously low cannabis tax rates.

“[El Dorado County] is going to be competing with other counties and states over price and quality very soon,” Miller said. “These tax rates are on all parts of the supply chain. It ends up accumulating as an anti-El Dorado County tax. Potentially, out-of-county cannabis will be cheaper than our own county product.”


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