LONG BEACH — If California voters approve Proposition 19 on Nov. 2 to legalize recreational marijuana, Long Beach officials want to be ready to capitalize on it.
Long Beach's Measure B would create a new category of "marijuana business" and would tax the drug.
The measure would impose a tax of $150 per $1,000 of gross receipts for marijuana sales, and a tax of $25 per square foot on all improvements to a site used by a marijuana business to cultivate or grow marijuana.
Marijuana businesses that qualify as nonprofits under state law would pay $10 per square foot of improvements instead of paying a tax based on gross receipts.
The tax would be adjusted each year for inflation.
However, the tax wouldn't affect any marijuana facility that has a valid medical marijuana permit.
Medical marijuana is already legal in California, and Long Beach has created new regulations for medical marijuana collectives. City officials are in the process of granting permits to collectives that meet all of the qualifications, although some collectives have filed lawsuits challenging Long Beach's law.
Long Beach Director of Finance Lori Ann Farrell says that Measure C has the potential to produce millions of dollars in revenue for Long Beach, which has faced years of budget deficits and has more to come.
The revenue from the marijuana tax could be used to pay for police, firefighters, libraries, parks and other services,
The measure has no official opposition, though it is dependent on Proposition 19 passing. That state measure has plenty of advocates and opponents.
See the full text of the measure at the Long Beach City Clerk's website.