“Proposition 64 would allow the state to impose a 15% excise tax on the retail sale of marijuana. Also, the state would be able to levy a cultivation tax on growers of $9.25 per ounce for flowers and $2.75 per ounce for leaves. The ballot measure also would let cities and counties to impose their own taxes to cover costs of services, including enforcement.” (Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times)
The vote does not immediately translate to an open application process for those seeking a permit to open a dispensary, but rather to begin the conversation and research into creating the rules and regulations that will allow medical marijuana sales in the future. With the total ban in place, City Council would have been unable to approach the topic with any real meaning. At least with the new amendment, Fresno can move forward on deciding what medical marijuana operations could look like within city limits.
So much remains ambiguous about the regulated future of legalized pot in California, even more so in the Central Valley. As some cities are still waiting to make their final decision, others have banned it outright, and Fresno is soon to embark on the unique challenge of writing new policies for medical marijuana businesses, from growing all the way to sales – but one thing is clear, and that it is going to make for a busy yet very interesting 2018.