The Monterey Herald
MONTEREY — The city of Monterey could generate as much as $1.3 million annually with a new cannabis tax measure proposed for the November ballot.
The suggested measure, up for Monterey City Council consideration Tuesday night, asks Monterey residents to decide whether the city should impose license taxes on cannabis businesses within its bounds. If approved by voters, the measure would tax cannabis retail businesses at an initial rate of 4%, cannabis testing laboratories at 1% and all other cannabis-related businesses at 6%, with room for the tax to grow respectively, up to 8%, 2%, and 8%.
Apart from business tax rates, the measure would also allow higher taxes on cannabis-infused beverages containing natural or artificial sweeteners and high potency products — those with more than 17% THC — to “discourage products with public health risks,” a staff report prepared for Tuesday’s City Council meeting reads.
Consideration of the prospective cannabis levies marks the first public update on progress made in Monterey’s Commercial Cannabis Roadmap since last year. Launched in the winter of 2020, the roadmap is a multi-year plan laid out to guide the process of permitting and regulating commercial cannabis operations in the city. Monterey is currently operating in Step 3 of its cannabis retail rollout: “Prepare to Launch,” which involves amendment of the city municipal code to allow for cannabis retail permits, cannabis retailer selection and development of a cannabis revenue strategy.
In December, the City Council gave staff the initial OK to put together a potential cannabis retail tax measure, along with direction to develop a regulatory ordinance that would ultimately allow for a total of three retail cannabis establishments throughout the city.