Media Report: SLO County’s cannabis program more than $1 million in the red

San Luis Obispo County tax payers will pay more than $1 million during the current fiscal year to fund the county’s failing cannabis industry, according to the Sept. 27 Board of Supervisors agenda.

During the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the county spent $400,942 to subsidize the local cannabis industry. The county collected $1,126,229 on cannabis fees and taxes while spending $1,527,171 to manage the program.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg in June suggested a cannabis tax freeze in order to allow the industry to prosper. She also wanted to expand the delivery hours from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and to permit retail stores in order to generate more fee and tax revenue.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold argued that county residents should not subsidize the cannabis industry.

On June 20, the board voted to lower the cannabis tax rate to 6% rather than raising it to a voter approved 10%, with Arnold dissenting.


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