Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly supported the passage of Measure M, which levied a 5 percent tax on the sale of medical marijuana, according to the San Fernando Valley Sun.
Our Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary lawyers understand voter sentiment. In fact, many within the medical marijuana community agree that medicinal pot could provide much-needed tax dollars to struggling local governments.
We are just concerned that city council will waste far more tax dollars making rash decisions, passing unconstitutional laws and otherwise ignoring its own legal advice as it squanders tens of millions of dollars on the medical marijuana issue.
The city is trying to tax these establishments even as it forces the vast majority of them out of business. This we’ve-identified-a-revenue-stream-let’s-kill-it approach is completely senseless. It is spending millions attempting to defend its medical marijuana ordinance. And now, against sound legal advice, it is pushing this tax.
As we reported recently on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog there are a number of issues with taxing marijuana sales. First and foremost, medical marijuana dispensaries are required to operate as non-profits and non-profits are tax exempt by definition.
The city estimates the tax could generate $10 million a year as the city fights to close its $350 million budget deficit.
The measure was opposed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, the Los Angeles Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office. That didn’t stop city council, though.
An opinion from the principal tax compliance officer last year noted dispensaries are non-profits and therefore cannot be taxed. That didn’t stop city council, though.
A number of other cities have passed similar taxes. San Jose and LaPuente have a 10 percent tax. The tax is 5 percent in Oakland and Richmond, 4 percent in Sacramento and 2.5 percent in Berkeley.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP is a law firm dedicated to the rights of medical marijuana patients, collectives and growers and has built a reputation for high-powered, aggressive legal representation of the medical marijuana industry in Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.