Voters in Chula Vista, La Mesa and Vista are deciding how their cities will regulate the marijuana industry within city limits
Preliminary voting results are in for five different marijuana-related measures brought before voters in Chula Vista, La Mesa and Vista.
Measure Q will decide the fate of marijuana dispensaries and manufacturers in Chula Vista.
If the yes votes prevail, licensed shops can open up and the city can tax manufacturing, cultivation and testing sites, as well as dispensaries and delivery services anywhere from 5 to 15 percent.
Manufacturing, cultivation and testing will be limited to industrial-zoned sites only, and those establishments will have to qualify for a permit.
Every applicant will have to pass a criminal background check, financial check, and have their site approved through the whole permit process. They’ll also need a plan for security and money handling.
According to City Councilmembers, some of the revenue from the tax would go toward setting up an enforcement unit focused on regulating legal pot shops and shutting down illegal ones. The rest of the revenue would go into the general fund.
Measure Q stipulates an eight-dispensary maximum in the city, and if the maximum is reached then only four additional delivery services will be allowed.
If the measure fails, the prohibition on pot in Chula Vista will remain — as it stands, absolutely no legal marijuana manufacturing or dispensaries are allowed within city limits.
Measure V proposes the establishment of a Cannabis Business Tax that would apply to all commercial marijuana businesses within the city.
Revenue from the tax would be deposited in the city’s general fund and would be spent on police and fire protection, road repairs, neighborhood parks and other community services. The money would also help support efforts to shut down illegal dispensaries in the city and regulate legal medical marijuana businesses not subject to the proposed tax.
The tax is estimated to generate $1.5 to $2 million annually for La Mesa, according to the City Attorney.
Commercial marijuana cultivation businesses, or nurseries, would be taxed $1 to $10 per square foot of canopy space, and retail businesses would be taxed up to 6 percent on gross receipt amounts. The measure also allows the city to adjust the tax rates annually as long as they don’t exceed limits approved by voters.
Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivators, and manufacturers are allowed under a conditional use permit, but all other medical and recreational businesses are prohibited.
A majority of yes votes means the tax is adopted, and a majority of no votes means the tax won’t be established.
Measure AA proposes a tax structure for marijuana businesses and grants the City Council authority to administrative rules regulating marijuana sales if marijuana businesses ever become legal in the city.
The tax calls for an initial 6 percent rate on adult-use retail sales that could adjust within a 0 to 12 percent range; an initial 5 percent rate on medical use retail sales that could adjust within a 0 to 10 percent range; an initial 4 percent rate on manufacturing businesses that could adjust within a 0 to 8 percent range; an initial 1 percent rate on testing businesses that could adjust within a 0 to 3.5 percent range; and a $14 per square foot tax on cultivation canopy space adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index.
Revenue from the tax would go to the city’s general fund.
A yes vote would allow the Vista City Council to adopt the tax structure if marijuana businesses ever become legal.
Measure BB would allow up to three delivery only (non-storefront) medical dispensaries and up to two product testing labs.
The allowed delivery businesses would be limited to industrial-zoned districts and would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of any public or private school with grades 1 through 12, any daycare, youth center, treatment center, youth-oriented business, public or private park, or homeless shelter, and must be 500 feet away from any residential zone.
If approved by voters, Measure BB will only be enacted if Measure AA is also approved.
Measure Z would allow at least 11 storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.
Allowed medical dispensaries could exist in any of Vista’s commercial, industrial, business park, and mixed-use zoning districts, with certain restrictions on proximity to public or private schools and other dispensaries.
Medical dispensaries would pay a permanent tax equal to 7 percent of gross sales that would be deposited in the city’s general fund.