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US (CA): Sonoma County shifts cannabis tax rates, easing the burden on some growers

Sonoma County’s Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday, February 28, to change how the tax on cannabis cultivation is set, lowering the amount some growers will pay while raising it for others.

The move comes after months of heavy pressure from cannabis industry representatives, who have complained that layers of local and state taxes have hampered businesses in California’s legalized market. Under the change, starting in July, cannabis growers in the county’s jurisdiction will be taxed based on the size of their operations, categorized into three different methods, calculated on a gross receipt tax rate of 2.5%.

Growers will pay a rate of $0.75 per square foot for outdoor operations, $12.50 per square foot for indoor cultivation, and $3 per square foot for mixed-light cultivation where a combination of artificial and natural light is deployed.

This new rate schedule lowers taxes paid by outdoor growers while raising it on indoor cultivators, said Erick Roeser, Sonoma County’s auditor-controller-treasurer and tax collector. Small mixed-light operators would likely see an increase, while large mixed-light cultivators would see a decrease.


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