Marijuana Ballot Measures: Winners and Losers
California voters weighed in on over two dozen local cannabis measures last Tuesday. Many of these measures would set up a pathway for legalization of retail cannabis in jurisdictions where marijuana sales are prohibited. In around a dozen localities – including Huntington Beach – voters opted to legalize retail sales for the first time. According to Marijuana Moment, this should result in around 70 new retail licenses.
Some of the most interesting measures appeared on ballots around Los Angeles’ South Bay – in the beach cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and El Segundo. There, voters have rejected an attempt by a cannabis dispensary owner to expand access to retail marijuana. Although the loss has been framed as a product of NIMBYism, many voters felt it was a power grab by a single cannabis business operator.
Below is a list of local cannabis measures we were watching last Tuesday and how they all fared.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Los Angeles County Measure C was approved. It will permit cannabis businesses in unincorporated parts of LA County and enact annual tax rates not to exceed $10 per square foot for cultivation (adjusted for inflation); a percentage of gross receipts for various cannabis businesses, including 6% for retail, 2% for testing laboratories; 3% for distribution and 4% for all other cannabis businesses.
Baldwin Park Measure CB is too close to call. It would permit cannabis retailers to sell and deliver medical and adult-use cannabis. It would establish a sales tax of 0.5% for retailers and a 4% tax on gross receipts from sales, while authorizing the City Council to modify rates up to 5%. The latest results are 48.05% yes, 51.95% no.
Claremont Measure CT was approved. It will establish a tax on cannabis and hemp businesses as follows: 4%-7% of gross receipts for retail businesses; 1 %-4% of gross receipts or $1-$10 per square foot for other businesses — whichever is higher — with certain rates increasing annually.
Cudahy Measure BA is too close to call. It would authorize storefront retail cannabis sales and other commercial cannabis activities. It would slap a 15% gross receipts tax on marijuana retailers and restrict locations to 600 feet from schools, churches, and childcare facilities. The latest results are 53% yes, 47% no.
El Segundo Measure Y was approved. It will establish taxes upon cannabis businesses not to exceed $20 per square foot for cultivation and 10% of gross receipts for other cannabis businesses in case of legalization. However, a “yes” vote does not make cannabis businesses legal in El Segundo.
El Segundo Measure Wwasdefeated. It would have legalized commercial cannabis in El Segundo by repealing the City’s current prohibition on commercial cannabis activities.
Hermosa Beach Measure M was defeated. It would have repealed the City’s existing ban on cannabis businesses and allow up to two cannabis retail storefront businesses, including delivery, by City-approved permit. This was placed on the ballot through a citizens’ petition drive.
Hermosa Beach Measure T was approved. This was the competing measure placed on the ballot by supervisors. It will place a tax on cannabis/hemp businesses up to $20.00 per square foot for cultivation and up to 10% of gross receipts for all other cannabis/hemp businesses. This was placed on the ballot by the City Council.
Lynwood Measure TR was approved. It will establish a 5% tax on retail cannabis businesses.
Manhattan Beach Measure MB was defeated. It would have legalized all commercial cannabis activity and permited three cannabis retailers within city limits.
Manhattan Beach Measure V was approved. It maintains the commercial cannabis ban on marijuana in the city.
Redondo Beach Measure E was defeated. It would have repealed the city’s ban on non-medical marijuana businesses and allow up to three marijuana retailers.
Santa Monica Measure HMP was approved. It will enact a 3% tax on non-medicinal cannabis retailers, 2% on medicinal cannabis retailers, and 1% on other licensed cannabis businesses, with a maximum of 10% gross tax at the discretion of the city council.
South El Monte Measure CM is too close to call. It would permit and regulate limited cannabis sales (1 adult-use/medical with option of up to 3 total after the measure’s first year) and establish a general tax not to exceed 8% of noncultivation cannabis business proceeds and $25/square foot of cultivation space (with CPI increases).
South El Monte Measure X is also too close to call. This was a competing measure that would permit and regulate limited cannabis businesses as follows: 5 allowable dispensaries, 2 cultivation, 1 testing facility, and 2 manufactures/distributors. It would establish a maximum 6% special excise tax on retail cannabis/edibles sales.
Huntington Beach Measure O is too close to call. It would tax cannabis businesses up to 6% of gross receipts for retailers and up to 1% of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses if they were to be permitted in the City.
Laguna Woods Measure T was approved. It will establish a tax on cannabis businesses of 4%- 10% of gross receipts or $5-$35 per square foot for retail businesses and 1%-10% of gross receipts or $1-$35 per square foot for other businesses, whichever is higher. There will now be a tax structure in place for future legalization of retail.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
San Diego County Measure A was approved. It will tax cannabis businesses in the unincorporated area on gross receipts at maximum 6% for retail, 3% for distribution, 2% for testing, cultivation at 3% or $10 (inflation adjustable) per canopy square foot, and 4% for other businesses.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Montclair Measure R was approved. It authorizes a marijuana gross receipts tax of no more than 7% with revenue dedicated to general services.
Healdsburg Measure M is too close to call. would establish a cannabis business tax at annual rates up to and not to exceed 8% of gross receipts for cannabis businesses.
City of Tulare Measure Y was approved. It will enact a 10% tax on cannabis businesses to fund general city services.
City of Monterey Measure J was approved. It establishes an annual cannabis business license tax of up to 8% of gross receipts for retail businesses, 2% of gross receipts for testing laboratories, and 6% of gross receipts for other cannabis businesses, with an additional tax on highly potent products.
City of Pacific Grove Measure M was approved. It authorizes the City Council to amend the Municipal Code to allow retail sales of medical or recreational cannabis, limited to one single location no closer than 1000 feet from Daycare/Preschools, Youth Centers, and Schools.
City of Pacific Grove Measure N was approved. It asked voters to support an excise tax on cannabis and hemp businesses at an annual rate not to exceed 6% of gross receipts for retail and delivery cannabis businesses.
Sausalito Measure K was handily defeated, would repeal the ban on marijuana sales in Sausalito, establishing a process for applying to operate a marijuana business, and requiring that the greater of 7.5% net profits or $50,000 from marijuana sales be paid to the city. The no vote was a whopping 72.4%.
Woodland Measure K was approved. It asked voters to enact a tax on cannabis businesses of up to 10% of gross receipts.
Avenal Measure C was approved. It supports authorizing the city to tax marijuana retailers at a rate of $25 per square foot (annually adjusted by inflation) or 15% of gross receipts (whichever is more).