HUNTINGTON BOEACH, Calif.–In November, the voters will vote to legalize and tax marijuana.
The city council voted 5-2 on July 5, to revive a tax marijuana businesses ballot measure. It received 64% voter approval in June but failed to get the required two-thirds vote.
Although retail cannabis in Huntington Beach is illegal, the council placed the tax on the ballot to ensure that regulations are in place for when it becomes legal.
But Tuesday’s council took it one step further and included another measure that would legalize cannabis retail sales.
The proposed tax measures would see cannabis retailers being taxed at 6 percent, and those who are not retailers be subject to a 1 percent tax on gross sales of recreational marijuana. For those aged 18 or older, tax is not applicable to medical marijuana purchases.
Despite Erik Peterson, the Councilman reminding his fellow members on the dais, cautioning them to take their time when drafting the ordinances. Councilman Dan Kalmick stated that he is eager to move the vote ahead with confidence that it will pass in November.
” I think they’ll vote yes,” Kalmick stated during the council meeting.
Peterson, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Posey voted no against these measures. Posey stated that he opposed the introduction of more taxes.
A subcommittee that will draft rules for ballot measures, consisting of Rhonda Bolton, Rhonda Kalmick and Peterson, will meet to discuss revisions and solicit public input. The ordinances are expected to be finalized by August. 12.
The current draft permits 10 delivery or storefront dispensaries.
Non-retailer business, such as marijuana distributors, would be permitted to test labs, manufacture, distribute plants and grow indoor cannabis in designated areas.
A minimum of 1,000 feet must be between retail businesses and all schools, parks, and youth centers. For non-retail businesses, a buffer of 1,000 feet is required from high schools and middle schools, and 600 feet from K-5 schools, parks, and youth centers.
Sales of temporary structures, such as vehicles or kiosks for retail, would be prohibited.
The city will require that dispensaries, as well as non-retailers, have 24/7 guards, security cameras on-site and video cameras outside and inside the building. Background checks for owners and employees are required. Customers age verification is also necessary.
The discussion about Huntington Beach’s cannabis business began at the end 2021, when two parties representing the industry in cannabis filed separate petitions asking for the city to consider taxation and regulations regarding land use.