CA: Solano’s Proposed Marijuana Tax To Go To The Voters


Ending on a high note Tuesday, Solano County supervisors unanimously opted to send a potentially controversial matter to voters.

Come November, voters will get to decide whether future commercial marijuana businesses in Solano County will be subject to a 15 percent business license tax.

Questions were raised by both the audience and supervisors regarding specifics, which County Counsel Dennis Bunting calmed.

“This is really a place holder,” he said, adding that the afternoon’s decision was just to get the matter on the upcoming ballot. A later, deeper discussion would come and that’s when details, he said, could be identified “at your discretion,” he told supervisors.

Marijuana remains classified as an illegal substance and medical marijuana dispensaries are officially banned in unincorporated Solano County.

But, with several states legalizing the drug, it’s possible this could change. Deciding the matter means Solano would have policies in place should that happen.

At a previous meeting, opponents worried that medical marijuana, which they said is very necessary for patients, would be taxed along with recreational marijuana. The tax, they said, could be prohibitive and keep them from procuring their medication.

Patrick Byron of Rio Vista revisited the matter Tuesday and questioned the tax figure.

“Who came up with 15 percent?” he asked.

Bunting responded that 15 percent was merely the maximum tax that could be levied.

Supervisor Skip Thomson emphasized that he would not support the taxation of medical marijuana and asked how medical marijuana would be differentiated from recreational pot.

Now that the matter will be on the November ballot, there’s time for issues to be hashed out.

Supervisors have already requested more information and more outreach, including to medical marijuana patients.

In other matters, supervisors delayed a decision on renewing an Operation and Management Agreement with the Dixon American Legion, Post 208 for the use of the Veterans Memorial Hall in Dixon.

At issue is the seemingly brittle tie between the American Legion and the Veteran of Foreign Wars. Both groups had occupied the veterans hall until recently, when the latter moved downtown.

The American Legion said the move was voluntary and the group continues to handle the hall’s operations.

“The VFW is welcome back at any time. We had no idea they were dissatisfied,” said Norm Shontz, financial officer with the American Legion. “They never paid for anything,” he continued, adding that the group had its own offices, had space to display their own memorabilia, held events at the hall and was welcome to come and go as they pleased.

Shontz’s concern was not having a contract with the county. The previous one expired in April. A proposed new one, similar to contracts between the county and the county’s other veterans organizations, would expire in 2021.

“We would like to have the same agreement all the rest of the halls have,” Shontz said.

He said the group can’t afford an audit, which would cost around $5,000.

“Right now we’re barely keeping our heads above water,” he said.

“I don’t understand why we should have an audit and the other halls do not,” he said.

Supervisor John Vasquez called for a brief delay as he and Thomson, both members of the board’s Veterans Issues Committee, meets with the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to see what’s going on.

The matter returns to the board Sept. 13.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Solano’s Proposed Marijuana Tax To Go To The Voters
Author: Kimberly K. Fu
Contact: (707) 644-1141
Photo Credit: Sarah Voisin
Website: Times-Herald