San Francisco ends cannabis tax so dispensaries can compete with drug dealers


FILE – In this Saturday, April 21, 2018 file photo a bud tender offers attendees the latest products of cannabis at the High Times 420 SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, Calif. Businesses inside and outside the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry are using April 20, or “420,” to roll out marketing and social media messaging aimed […]

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (WTVO) — The City of San Francisco has suspended implementation of a cannabis tax on dispensaries so legal marijuana retailers can compete with drug dealers.

“Cannabis businesses create good jobs for San Franciscans and provide safe, regulated products to their customers,” Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said. “Sadly, the illegal market is flourishing by undercutting the prices of legal businesses, which is bad for our economy as illegal businesses pay no taxes while subjecting workers to dangerous conditions and consumers to dangerous products. Now is not the time to impose a new tax on small businesses that are just getting established and trying to compete with illicit operators.”

Voters approved the tax in 2018, imposing an up to 5% tax on cannabis businesses, which was set to go into effect on January 1st, 2022.

But the city voter Tuesday to suspend the tax ordinance through December 31st, 2022 in order to curb illegal marijuana sales.

“Cannabis businesses, along with many other retailers in San Francisco, are struggling under the weight of out-of-control retail theft,” Mandelman said. “San Francisco needs to do more to protect these businesses, their employees, and their customers before we hit them with a new tax.”

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