San Leandro may reset cannabis tax schedule

In early 2017, the San Leandro City Council approved a tiered schedule for taxing cannabis sales that gradually increases to eight percent by 2021.

But as San Leandro’s tax rate is set to increase from six percent to seven percent on July 1, the city may choose to reset the clock on the tax regimen since the first tax receipts from cannabis sales only began to trickle in over three months ago.

“We haven’t even had a dispensary open for very long,” San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said Monday night. Blum San Leandro’s dispensary near Kaiser Permanente on Fairway Avenue opened in January. The city’s two other permitted dispensaries have yet to open their doors to the public.

The council approved Cutter’s referral Monday night directing city staff to study the potential rollback of the tax schedule. Cutter’s proposal would postpone the tax hike for one year, keeping the rate at 6 percent through July 2020. Councilmember Pete Ballew, a consistent opponent of cannabis sales, was the lone opposition to the referral.

San Leandro voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 2016 to allow the taxation of cannabis sales in the city. In March 2017, the council voted to set the tax rate at 6 percent. It is set to increase to 7 percent this July, and 8 percent in 2021.

In addition, San Leandro recently amended its cannabis ordinance to allow for retail cannabis sales. They had previously only allowed medical cannabis sales.

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