In a warehouse north of the 405 Freeway off Cherry Avenue sits a 35,000 square foot warehouse where the chief cultivator of Fresh Baked helps oversee the harvesting of nearly 6,000 pounds of cannabis per year.
The bounty of dried cannabis flowers comes with a steep tax bill for KRD, the name of the lead cultivator, and others in Long Beach, who must pay $12 for every square foot that’s dedicated to growing cannabis. For KRD, that means hundreds of thousands in annual taxes on top of a $180,000 per month lease payment and a $50,000 per month electricity bill.
“We sell product all over the state and that tax money comes back to the city,” he said in an interview. “There’s a fine line with taxes and allowing businesses to survive I think we’re past that fine line.”
Cannabis taxes have generated millions of dollars for the city’s general fund since medical and recreational cannabis businesses were legalized across the state in the past few years. However, the City Council voted Tuesday to take a closer look at how it taxes cultivators, who say they’re being placed at a disadvantage against growers from other cities and those operating in the black market.
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