County discusses reducing fees

US (CA): "I will be out of business in six months if something doesn’t change"

At least one retired Stanislaus County supervisor, who was critical of California’s legal cannabis initiative, might be saying, “I told you so.”

County supervisors on Tuesday talked about reducing the fee structure for legal cannabis business owners, who are complaining they can’t pay the current fees and may be driven out of business by black-market cannabis.

An item on Tuesday’s agenda about changing the collection of the community benefit fees paid by licensed cannabis businesses turned into a discussion about a wholesale restructuring of development agreements and fees that were supposed to generate funding for public agencies under California’s legalization initiative.

Zach Drivon, an attorney representing legal cannabis businesses, said retail prices are plummeting because of overproduction and competition with illegal cannabis grows. Mark Ponticelli, a legal cannabis merchant in Modesto, said a pound of black-market cannabis costs $1,000. “We are paying $3,000,” he said. Another business owner known for selling medicinal cannabis said he will be out of business in six months if something doesn’t change.

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